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Body of missing hiker found near Big Sur 

Body of missing hiker found near Big Sur

Photo of Caroline Meister released by Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

– On Friday at 4 p.m., the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to inform the community that the body of missing hiker Caroline Meister had been located.

Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto announced that search and rescue personnel were performing a high angle search off of the “cut off” trail where a waterfall drops off of the trail. Search and rescue personnel rappelled down the steep drop off and located Caroline Meister’s body at the base of the waterfall.

Sheriff Tina Nieto said there were no signs of foul play. She added that she had spoken to Caroline’s mother, Jean Mesiter, earlier in the day. Jean Meister wished to express her gratitude to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and the many volunteers that helped search for Caroline to bring her home.

On March 18, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Caroline Meister left the Zen Center at Tassajara in the Ventana Wilderness at 10 a.m. for what was supposed to be a day hike. She left with food for the day and the clothing she was wearing. She was not prepared for an overnight hike. When she failed to return that evening, staff and friends at the Zen Center began to search for her and then contacted the sheriff’s office. Search efforts continued for four days until her discovery Friday.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office thanked the many agencies that provided assistance in search efforts. This includes search and rescue teams from Monterey County, Solano County, Santa Clara County, California Search and Rescue, Bay Area Mountain Rescue, Marin County, Contra Costa County and Napa County. Additional resources have been provided by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Drone Team, California Highway Patrol, CARDA (K9 unit), FIRIS (Heat Sensing Aircraft) and the California Office of Emergency Services. The American Red Cross provided food and beverages for search teams.


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