Blogger Couple Who Fell to Their Deaths at Yosemite National Park Were Intoxicated: Coroner's Office
Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy, the Indian blogger couple who tragically died after falling off an overlook at Yosemite National Park in October, were allegedly intoxicated at the time of the incident, according to a new report.
An autopsy — completed on Jan. 4 by forensic pathologist Dr. Sung-Ook Baik, for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department — revealed Moorthy, 30, and her husband Vishnu, 29, had been drinking prior to their deaths.
The couple was “intoxicated with ethyl alcohol prior to death,” Dr. Baik wrote in his report obtained by The Mercury News.
Ethyl alcohol is a type of alcohol found in beer as well as most brandy and whiskey.
The bloggers, who were living in America prior to their deaths, fell approximately 800 feet below Taft Point, National Park Service said in a statement.According to National Park Service, Taft Point is “an area with very steep terrain” it is also a popular spot for tourists trying to get the perfect photo. The attraction features an overlook, allowing visitors to walk to the cliff's edge. However, there is no railing.
The bodies of the couple were recovered on Oct. 25 after park rangers used a number of “rappelling techniques” and a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol.
Moorthy and Viswanath died of “multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, sustained by a fall from a mountain,” Dr. Balik, said on his report for the Stanislaus County Coroner's Office, The Mercury Newsreports.
At this time, it is not immediately clear how intoxicated the couple were when they died. “We can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol but it is unknown to what level of intoxication,” Andrea Stewart with the Mariposa County Coroner's Office told The Mercury News.
How Moorthy and Viswanath fell to their deaths also remains under investigation.
However, Vishnu's brother told the Associated Press his brother and sister-in-law were taking selfies before falling off the overlook.
Excited to share their experiences with others, Viswanath and Moorthy created an Instagram account, which has acquired over 12,000 followers. They also ran a blog called Holidays and Happily Ever Afters.
Their account is filled with vibrant and colorful shots from their travels, which includes trips to Italy, Holland and Monument Valley, Arizona.
The couple often found high vantage points to take dramatic photographs including one taken in August last year where they stood on the edge of a platform at Cape Royal which is located in the Grand Canyon.
Viswanath captioned the photo, “Living life on the edge.”
Moorthy and Viswanath got married in 2014 in India and both graduated in degrees in computer science and engineering from a school in South India, The Mercury News reports.
Viswanath was a software engineer with Cisco.
Their last post on Instagram was on Oct. 17 and shows Moorthy standing on lake dock in Vermont with a valley of autumn-colored trees in the background.