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Family, friends mourn after Alyssa Byrne found dead near Lake Tahoe

January 6, 2013 |  8:12 am

Friends and family mourned the death of a 19-year-old Petaluma, Calif., woman found in the snow near Lake Tahoe after going missing during a New Year's Eve celebration.

Alyssa Byrne went to the Snow Globe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe on Monday night and wasn't seen again until her body was discovered Friday.

A utility worker found the body about 10 feet from a road. The body was not visible from the road because of high piles of snow.

Byrne was fully clothed, with no visible trauma. El Dorado County (Calif.) sheriff’s deputies will be investigating her death.

"Our preliminary investigation with this morning's discovery, it would tend to point in the direction that Alyssa had elected to walk home from the event," Paul Howell of the Douglas County (Nev.) Sheriff's Department told reporters at a news conference.

Officials say there was a long wait for shuttle buses from the community college where the concert was being held Monday night, prompting some concert-goers to leave on foot. Although officials are not commenting yet on a cause of death, it appears possible that Byrne may have fallen off the road while walking along it. The temperature overnight fell to between zero and 10 degrees.   

Byrne was staying at the Horizon Casino across the Nevada border.

More than 400 people attended a candlelight vigil for her Friday night in her hometown of Petaluma.

"We so appreciate everything this community has done to come together and help us find my sister. At least we found her and at least we know," Greg Byrne, her brother, told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

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 A Times staff writer and Fox 40

Image: Alyssa Byrne went missing after attending a New Year’s Eve concert. Credit: Fox 40
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