SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A body discovered at the base of a steep cliff near Fort Funston has been tentatively identified as that of Kyra Sunshine Scarlet, a hiker who was buried under a landslide in late February, her father said Tuesday.
A heartbroken David Scarlet told KPIX 5 in an exclusive interview that the medical examiner’s office’s tentatively identified the body as Kyra’s based on features. Her body was recovered early Monday on a beach approximately one-quarter mile south of Sloat Boulevard.
Scarlet was walking with a friend and her dog walking up from the beach below the cliff in the popular hiking area when the landslide happened on Feb. 22nd. The dog and her friend survived, but Scarlet was buried under the debris.
San Francisco firefighters raced to the scene and began frantically digging with their hands and shovels for hours before being forced to abandon the search by a high tide that sent waves crashing onto the beach.
Officials with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area renewed search effort for Scarlet a few days later but concluded it without finding any trace of her body.
“(The search teams have) exhausted all possible actions,” GGNRA officials said, adding that there was a “high probability that the woman’s body was taken out to sea by high tide.”
Family members confirmed her identity to the media and posted a GoFundMe account.
“The only solace is she was with her friend and dog on a beach with a view of an ocean, which was her happy place,” according to a statement posted on the site.
Witnesses have told fire officials they saw the victim, who was with her dog and another women, climbing up the 80-foot cliff around 2:30 p.m. The women were about halfway up when the cliff started caving in on top of them.
Bystanders pulled out one woman and began frantically digging for the other but were unsuccessful.
The woman who was rescued did not have serious injuries, and the dog was uninjured, according to fire officials.
Stormy conditions hampered the search effort which included the use of heavy machinery, shovels and search dogs. National Park officials used a 60-foot boom excavator and front end loader to “carefully and methodically” remove debris at the base of the bluff. Cadaver dogs also assisted in search with no result.
Officials believe her body may be been swept out to sea by waves and a strong off-shore current.
Fort Funston is part of the federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is about 10 miles south of the Golden Gate Bridge.