Missing Petaluma Teen's Body Found

No signs of trauma; Young woman may have fallen while walking

The body of a Petaluma teen missing in South Lake Tahoe was located Friday morning, although 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.

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

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Belle (Orchid Lady) January 04, 2013 at 10:57 PM
My sincerest condolences! Having just let my own child go close to that area with out an adult for the first time, I can only cry for the loss of your daughter. We had prayed for her safe return. May she rest in peace, and may God bring your family some peace and comfort.
Iris January 05, 2013 at 12:02 AM
My God! I said the Lords prayer for Alyssa and her family. I am a mother of 3 and I can only imagine what you all are going through. I truly wish this was not the outcome. I will continue to send my prayers for strength. In times like this that is all you can do. the Lord has accepted her and I am certain she is sending her love. Do your best to remember the good times (I know it's cliche but, you will never accept what has happened and move on if you don't). I know the loss of a child is not the same as a grandparent but, when my Grandmother died all I could do was remember all of the good times we had and all of the gifts she left me. I am a better person for having her in my life. I hope these words help your family find some comfort if they ever reach you. God bless~
Walter Shank January 05, 2013 at 01:46 AM
A sad ending to a beautiful life. You will be missed Alyssa.
Toni Tuttle January 05, 2013 at 02:08 AM
I pray for the family, I know loss of a child...believe she will give you signs, Believe, I know it does not take away the pain and surely not in the beginning but it helps so much, talk to her ask her for signs, I did and I got so many from my beautiful daugther, may the angels hold you in thier arms....
Babaloo January 05, 2013 at 02:36 AM
so sorry for the loss of such a young woman. my condolences to the family.
Bradford A Morris January 05, 2013 at 03:44 AM
As a father I am totaly sick of the outcome. Kim I know you from Kaiser and your so nice all the time. Life is not fair some times. I was prying and hoping she would come home. God had different intentions for her. May she rest in peace. I will share your pain kim and the rest of her family. I wish everyone who reads this to take a moment and pray for this family and their forever loss. I am so sorry this happen. I am so so sad. KIM xo FAMILY xoxoxo
Karma January 05, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Many kids have fake ID's now. Also many drink before. For you 2 say they have blood on there hands is quite extreme. I agree with the shuttle as they now realize they will have to change that. Sad all the way around. With deepest sorrow for all her family and friends.
Bookworm January 05, 2013 at 03:53 PM
She will live in your hearts and your love for her will never die. Wishing you the resilience to endure the pain of separation with grace, and the openness to be nourished by the compassion of others.
Concerned Citizen January 05, 2013 at 05:37 PM
I was so hoping that when all the T.V. vehicle's showed up in our neighborhood yesterday, that it was to report good news. Now we're all simply Heartbroken. I can't imagine the pain Alyssa Byrne’s family is feeling at this moment. I'm so very sorry for their loss.
Marylyn Motherbear Scott January 05, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Sending my deepest condolences to Kim and Ken, family and friends. The pain and grief of Alyssa's death is profound, deep. My family and friends grieve with you, watch their little ones with a certain pathos knowing they cannot control their every move. If there is any way for me to be of service, please don't hesitate to ask. All love, blessings, Marylyn (Toby's mom).
Marylyn Motherbear Scott January 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
edit to above comment: (knowing they cannot control their every move), wanting to protect them from harm at every moment.
NancyJ January 05, 2013 at 05:44 PM
How heartbreaking. My prayers go out to her family and friends.
Sabri Zidan January 05, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Rest in peace Alyssa, you'll live on in our hearts forever.
Jennifer Ortiz January 05, 2013 at 09:40 PM
I'm with Frank J. My VERY underage daughter just asked me why she was served alcohol at the music festival. Good question. Such a sad,sad, lost. Condolences to her family and friends.
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" January 05, 2013 at 10:08 PM
I just caught the part of the that she was drunk at 19yrs. Not a good choice to make. But Young and dumb we all were. I hope the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office makes some arrests.
Wire January 05, 2013 at 10:48 PM
This is very sad news, there's no replacement of a loved one. We will never know why she chose not to wait for the bus, as she is the only one that thought the wait was way to long and walked off. One thing you down hill people don't understand at zero degrees how fast that cold sets in. The first to go is the thinking as the brain stops working. Was she dressed for that cold weather, what shoes or boots did she have on for protection? The feet being cold and wet, the neck being exposed to the weather you lose over 60% of your body heat worse if the head isn't covered. (HOODIE) Trying to walk a mile in zero degrees not dress for it, whose to blame? When we went skiing, a one minute walk from the parking lot to the office to pay for our over night camping our pants froze in seconds from the sweat or moisture from our body heat from nice warm truck heater. This was at zero degrees temp out side. You hair is frozen too. She failed to feel the warning signs maybe tried to go back. Just more laws are needed for one that can't be responsible for what choices are made. Make this another learning experience about the choice you make in your life here on earth. Your in a different world at zero degrees you need to respect the cold weather. RIP Alyssa
Wire January 06, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Hypothermia Hypothermia is the lowering of the body temperature at a rate faster than the body can produce heat. Causes of hypothermia may be general exposure or the sudden chilling of the body by falling into a lake, ocean just \walking out in zero degree weather The initial symptom is shivering. This shivering may progress to the point that it is uncontrollable and interferes with an individual’s ability to care for himself. This begins when the body’s core (rectal) temperature falls to about 35.5 degrees C (96 degrees F). When the core temperature reaches 35 to 32 degrees C (95 to 90 degrees F), sluggish thinking, irrational reasoning and a false feeling of warmth may occur. Core temperatures of 32 to 30 degrees C (90 to 86 degrees F) and below result in muscle rigidity, unconsciousness and barely detectable signs of life. If the victim’s core temperature falls below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), death is almost certain. I bet she started to remove clothing. 9 Injuries Caused by Extremely Cold Weather : Discovery Channel Did some pass some cocaine around? Time will tell. Yes, we need more laws! To prevent this happening again. She was over here head being up there in that weather. Does hot water freeze just as fast at zero as -41 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp97Ky5Tsa8
mikeg55 January 06, 2013 at 09:10 AM
I think the law is pretty clear. No drinking until 21. But nobody seems to follow it, especially teenagers. This happens every few years. A teenager dies due to being intoxicated. Their high school friends all mourn but just go out and get smashed the following weekend. A few years later another teenager dies again. This was a totally preventable tragedy.
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" January 06, 2013 at 08:13 PM
I agree Did her mom and dad know she was a drunk? One should seek help, for there kids who not just drink but get that drunk at 19
Active Thinker January 06, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Yes History re-peats itself over and over again. What are some of the key lessons hopefulley learned here? Drinking at any age people do things they would not otherwise do. Being alone in the snow is not great. Yes, festivals give drinks to kids under 21...come on it's been this way for YEARS. Plus they can get it any other way. The bottom line is something happened that is very sdad for many people and it hits home here in petaluma as we have lost on of our own to very soon. It could have been prevented. Learn for the lesson here. Sad for the family and friends of her.
Concerned Citizen January 06, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Chris, It seems highly inappropriate it post your comments in this thread. Alyssa's death has nothing to do with your comments, especially while her family is grieving.
Concerned Citizen January 06, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Thank you.
Wire January 06, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Stop this drinking thing, the weather did her in, she choose to walk in zero degree weather, it's worst than falling into the ocean off a boat into 50' water. You have fifteen minutes or die. Read the PD she tried to walk back to late her body was shutting down. People pass stuff around too at concerts, do you know what it cold be. At the Cow Place, someone made a cocaine sniff out of sport binoculars.
Mary Jo Wheeler January 07, 2013 at 01:14 AM
We will never know how alcohol may or may not have contributed to this tragedy. Only those who were there and saw her, or were with her, know the truth about that. But a 16 year old did say that they were all drinking. It is possible that, if she had been drinking, the alcohol may have impaired her judgement regarding walking. Maybe a sober person would have realized that was not a good idea? This is in no way meant to blame her, or anyone, but to recognize the role that alcohol can play, and to educate people about alcohol abuse. Maybe every group should have a designated non-drinker to look out for friends who are drinking, just like having a designated driver.
barbwire64 January 07, 2013 at 11:57 PM
My Mother and I sat down last night, and had a long discussion regarding this tragedy. I lived in SLT for 17 years, and made a lot of stupid choices. The only thing that always saved me, was my friends. We had a pact from day 1, that when we went out, we stuck together and no one left the group. Responsibility is really the lesson. Whether someone designates as a sober, responsible person, or everyone sticks together, needs to be decided every time! I do not know Alyssa, nor the Byrne family. My Mother and I feel so deeply for their loss and for the close community of Petaluma; suffering as well. Please accept our prayers for healing and strength.
JakeCone January 08, 2013 at 03:04 PM
The only appropriate comments for such a situation are ones of condolence. People just don't know when to shut up. MPW is a moron and without compassion.
Concerned Citizen January 08, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Well said.
mikeg55 January 08, 2013 at 08:50 PM
I'm all for respect for the family, but Petaluma's youth can learn a very important lesson from this tragedy. I just hope they learn it.
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" January 10, 2013 at 05:48 AM
Jake where in my post was I unconpassionate? Or are you just trashing because I am a republican.
Wire January 10, 2013 at 06:06 AM
She removed her jacket, that weather was not jacket only weather, just like i said she would had done. She was a young naive adult. Fox Found “Frozen Alive” in Norway River | RocketNews24 en.rocketnews24.com/2012/.../fox-found-frozen-alive-in-norway-riv... Dec 19, 2012 RIP Alyssa


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