Coroner's Report Sheds Light on Couple's Death Plunge

Meenakshi Moorthy and Vishnu Viswanath weren't entirely sober
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2019 4:00 PM CST
This photo obtained from Facebook posted on June 26, 2017, shows a selfie of Vishnu Viswanath, right, and his wife Meenakshi Moorthy at Skydive Santa Barbara in Lompoc, Calif.   (Vishnu Viswanath/Facebook via AP)

(Newser) – The sad story of a couple who plummeted 800 feet to their deaths at Yosemite National Park in California is getting a little clearer, Fox News reports. Autopsy investigations by Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department show that Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband, Vishnu Viswanath, 29, had ethyl alcohol in their systems (but no drugs) when they died Oct. 25 at Taft Point. "We can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol but it is unknown to what level of intoxication," an assistant Mariposa County coroner tells the San Jose Mercury News. Ethyl alcohol is common in alcoholic beverages including hard liquor, beer, and wine.

The couple died from "multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, sustained by a fall from a mountain," per the Jan. 4 report. Viswanath's brother says they were setting up a camera by the edge of Taft Point when they fell, but National Park Service rangers are still investigating. Born in India and living in the Bay Area, Moorthy and Viswanath kept up the now-defunct Holidays and Happily Ever Afters blog for their travel stories and photos. Moorthy also posted an Instagram pic of herself last March sitting by the Grand Canyon's edge with a warning: "A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL?? Is our life just worth one photo?" (In another horrible incident, a woman fell into a crocodile pit.)

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