Missing Petaluma Teen's Body Found in South Lake Tahoe

No signs of trauma; she may have fallen while walking

The body of a Petaluma teen missing in South Lake Tahoe was located Friday morning. There is no evidence of foul play, authorities say.

Alyssa Byrne’s body was found behind a high snow bank 10 feet off a trail, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. She was found by a utility worker around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

The 19-year old had traveled to South Lake Tahoe to attend a music festival over New Year’s Eve. She was separated from her friends, but sent a text message saying she would take the shuttle back to the Horizon casino where the group was staying.

Deputies say Byrne likely missed the shuttle or decided to walk after learning it was temporarily closed. She had been drinking, according to friends, and may have fallen as she walked back along the dark path. There are no outward signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is scheduled.

Friends and family were devastated to hear the news Friday.

"She was just so funny, so nice to everyone," said friend Jazmyne Taylor. "She was so great to be around. She is the kind of person that knew everyone and she probably saw some friends and left her group to go talk to them."

Earlier reports stated that Byrne had returned to the resort and was seen in the lobby area. But police were unable to spot her on security footage.

Byrne was an avid lacrosse player, worked at Cattlemen's and was a 2011 graduate of Casa Grande High School. The trip to South Lake Tahoe over New Year’s Eve was Byrne’s first by herself, said her mother Kim Byrne.

Update: A candlelight vigil is planned for Byrne at 7 p.m. tonight at Casa Grande High School, according to The Press Democrat.

You can send your words of support to Alyssa's family by posting in the comments below.


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