Byrne Had Meth, Other Drugs in Her System at Time of Death

19-year-old Petaluma woman went missing December 31 in South Lake Tahoe where she was attending a music concert with friends


Alyssa Byrne, the 19-year-old Petaluma woman who died in Lake Tahoe while attending a music concert, had taken methamphetamine and various “psychoactive drugs,” the Press Democrat is reporting.

Byrne was reported missing January 1 after she failed to return to the South Lake Tahoe hotel room she was sharing with friends, where the group was attending the SnowGlobe Music Festival.

Four days later, a maintenance worker found Byrne’s body behind a snow berm, leading to speculation that she had passed out after being drunk, then froze to death in the snow.

But the autopsy showed that Byrne, a standout lacrosse player who was attending Santa Rosa Junior College to become a paramedic, had no alcohol in her body, according to the story. She did have a significant amount of methamphetamine in her system, along with other psychoactive drugs, the names of which authorities did not release, citing requests from the family.

Hypothermia was also listed as a cause of death.

In the wake of the tragedy, Byrne’s family has launched a public awareness campaign for teens to “buddy up” in dangerous situations.

To read more about the autopsy report, see the Press Democrat article. 

Andrew Haynes February 19, 2013 at 06:47 PM
How awful. Meth does terrible things to people's brains and impairs thinking and judgement in profound ways. A drug to stay away from.
Phoebe Jones February 20, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Kudos to her parents who are trying to set up a buddy system & do something positive in their time of sorrow. I guess "there but for fortune" could go so many of us & our children through the years. Condolences.
Darris February 20, 2013 at 07:54 AM
My heart breaks for Alyssa's family. They are doing a very generous service by taking their sorrow and trying to bring about awareness with their "buddy up" campaign. We are loosing far too many of our young people to drugs and alcohol. This issue can no longer be ignored. Parents of teens tell me, "my kid doesn't do drugs or drink" . . . maybe not but maybe so. You don't know everything about your kid. Remember when you were a teen? We've lost touch with our kids . . . we need to reconnect and stay present and if need be, intervene and intervene early. You don't know when the invisible line of addiction happens and it happens far earlier than we once thought. Parents of teens PLEASE don't take the 'look the other way' attitude. Zero tolerance is the only way to keep our kids safe. Nothing is 100% but there is NO "responsible use" of drugs/alcohol by teens.
Concerned Citizen February 20, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Meth is evil, yet we actually prescribe it freely (Meth based drugs) to kids who are diagnosed with ADD, and it so commonplace, kids just don't understand how insidious that drug is. My heart aches as a parent, as my daughter is just a few years shy of Alyssa's age. But I've used this story as a reminder to her illustrating the perils of 1) Being alone in unfamiliar surroundings, and exposed to harsh elements 2) Using drugs and alcohol 3) Dying way too young......and breaking your families hearts. But as a community, we sit back and watch our local Gas Stations sell "bath salts", allowing the sale of "legal" drugs (designer drugs), and allowing anyone with any "medical" condition, a hundred bucks, and who is over 18 to get a Medical Pot Card, and let our kids idolize Sports Pros and Entertainers to glamorize Re-Hab on Dr. Drew....I mean I just don't get it.
Brent Ainsworth February 20, 2013 at 04:30 PM
For those in Novato who are rocked by this, consider joining the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth, which is doing great things to try and help prevent these tragedies. www.novatoblueribbon.org ... Is there an organization in Petaluma like this? Please promote it here.


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