The search for 19-year-old Alyssa Byrne, who went missing New Year's Day, ended Friday when a utility worker found her body behind a snow bank.
Alyssa Byrne, of Petaluma, Calif., was last seen by friends around 11:30 p.m. at Snow Globe, a three-day music festival in South Lake Tahoe, Nev., that attracts thousands of people, police said.
She may have tried to walk three miles in freezing weather to the hotel where she was staying, and became disoriented or lost, police say. Paul Howell, Douglas County Undersheriff noted other concertgoers decided to walk back to a hotel in Stateline, a tourist destination on Lake Tahoe's south shore, because there were long lines for shuttle buses.
There were no signs of outward trauma and no foul play is suspected. A full autopsy report is being conducted to determine the cause of death. Since the temperature at Lake Tahoe was below freezing on New Year's Eve, hypothermia is a possible cause of death.
Howell dismissed angst-filled tweets concerning a falling-out with a friend the day of her disappearance, saying they were not believed to be a factor in her death.
During the autopsy, a series of toxicology reports will be done to determine if there was any drug or alcohol abuse in Byrne's system the night she died.
Byrne's father, Kevin Byrne, issued a statement Friday thanking those who helped.
"Our entire family is devastated," the statement said. "We were still holding out hope that she would be found safe. We will miss Alyssa and she will be in our hearts forever."
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