Cal Poly student death likely accidental

April 10, 2013
Gisele Ayala

Gisele Ayala

Sheriff’s officials in Santa Barbara County said Tuesday that Cal Poly student Giselle Ayala, 18, most likely died last weekend from falling off a cliff along the oceanfront community where she’d gone for a spring break party. [PressDemocrat]

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told the Press Democrat her autopsy had indicated a fall as the probable, but not yet official, cause of death.

“It’s definitely a strong likelihood,” Hoover said. “The cliff, her falling is a possibility we’re looking at.”

Ayala was last seen by her friends at about 11 p.m. Friday during the annual party that this year attracted as many as 18,000 attendees. A jogger found Ayala the next morning, dead in the water off of a campus beach.

Ayala had split from her friends at about 11 p.m. to go to the bathroom, it was the last time they would see her alive.

Last November, an investigation into the death of a 21-year-old UC Santa Barbara student found on a beach below the Isla Vista cliffs resulted in a determination he had fallen from the cliffs.

In September, two intoxicated young men went off the cliffs and survived. One 19-year-old said he’d jumped because he was despondent and a friend went over the cliff to assist him.

The University of Santa Barbara routinely sends out email messages to students warning about the dangers of partying near Isla Vista’s cliffs.


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So sad. Another young person dies too soon, most likely because of too much fun…

It is always best to bring a buddy. Never go off alone, if one does not have to. Even if it’s to answer nature’s call.

This is truly a tragedy for the friends and family.