Missing teen’s body found
January 4, 2013
The body of Petaluma resident Alyssa Byrne was found Friday morning in South Lake Tahoe.
In a Friday morning press conference, Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell said a utility worker in an elevated truck saw Byrne’s body behind a high snow bank 10 feet off Pioneer Trail between Al Tahoe and Black Bart Avenue about 8:30 a.m.
Police said her body was just off the roadway about 1 mile west of Lake Tahoe Community College, where SnowGlobe was held. Her body looked like it had been there for a couple days, he said.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature dropped to 3 degrees Jan. 1 and fell to minus 1 Jan. 2.
While Howell did not want to speculate on the circumstances, he said the location could have been along a route someone who missed the SnowGlobe Music Festival shuttle may have taken.
Earlier reports stated that Byrne had made it back to Horizon Casino Resort on New Year’s Eve, but police were unable to spot her on security footage.
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Howell said police still do not have evidence of foul play, and there were no outward signs of trauma to the body. El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office will conduct an autopsy.
Pioneer Trail is currently closed between Al Tahoe and Black Bart Avenue.
The discovery of the body comes after a three-day search for Byrne, who was reported missing Jan. 1 after coming to South Lake Tahoe to attend SnowGlobe. Family members, and friends helped South Lake Tahoe Police Department, Douglas County and El Dorado County sheriff’s departments, Douglas County Search and Rescue, FBI and air support from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office search for her.
Kindred Murillo, president of Lake Tahoe Community College where SnowGlobe took place, said more facts are needed before they discuss whether or not the case will impact the music festival’s future in the South Shore. The college was planning to discuss the event even before Byrne was reported missing, and once the board has more information they’ll move forward with a decision.
The comments that the college has received regarding the event are almost all positive and she hasn’t heard complaints about transportation to and from the event, Murillo said.
“I think SnowGlobe did everything they could to make sure attendees were safe. I don’t think we’d be doing our job if we didn’t look at this. It has to effect (the discussion) because the thing you always have to try to do when you’re an educator and community member is provide the safest environment you can,” Murillo said.