Courtesy of the Monterey County Sheriff's Office Caroline Meister had been missing since Monday

A search-and-rescue team on Friday located the body of a woman who had been missing since Monday after she went for a hike in Tassajara in the Ventana Wilderness.

Caroline Meister was found about 4pm after rescuers performed a high angle search off of the “Cut Off” trail where a waterfall drops off of the trail, Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto announced in a press release.

There were no signs of foul play, Nieto said.

Search and rescue personnel rappelled down the steep dropoff and located Meister’s body at the base of the waterfall. 

On Monday, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Meister left the Zen Center at Tassajara at 10am for what was supposed to be a day hike with only 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. 

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office was joined by 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 were 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.

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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