Body of missing Petaluma teen found in Tahoe | News
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - The body of a missing Petaluma teen who disappeared in South Lake Tahoe over the New Year's Eve period was discovered on Friday.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Howell revealed at a press conference that 19-year-old Alyssa Byrne's body was discovered in a snow bank off the side of Pioneer Trail in El Dorado County by a utility worker at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
Byrne was attending the SnowGlobe music festival at Lake Tahoe Community College when she was last seen at 11:53 p.m. on Dec. 31.
According to Howell, long lines for the shuttle from the event resulted in numerous people opting to walk rather than take the bus back to the resorts. The area in which Byrne's body was found, was along a walking route from the college campus.
"The preliminary investigation, with this morning's discovery, would tend to point in that direction; that Alyssa had elected to walk back from the event," said Howell.
However, in a later press conference, El Dorado county sheriff's Lt. Pete Van-Arnum said the location of Byrne's body indicated she was walking west on Pioneer Trail, in the opposite direction of her hotel.
Howell said Byrne's body was found laying uncovered in the snow with no "outward signs of trauma".
"The body could not be seen by people walking or driving by because of the elevated snow berms by the side of the roadway," said Howell. "It was a utility worker in an elevated truck that was able to observe the body."
Deputies did not suspect foul play, but Howell could not provide any further details on Byrne's death at this stage in the investigation.
According to Howell, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department will assume the lead in the investigation since Byrne's body was found within their jurisdiction.