Couple who fell to their deaths in Yosemite were intoxicated, autopsy reports show

"We can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol but it is unknown to what level of intoxication,” an assistant Mariposa County coroner said.

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By Janelle Griffith

A married couple who fell to their deaths from an outlook at Yosemite National Park in California in October were “intoxicated with ethyl alcohol prior to death,” according to autopsy reports.

Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband, Vishnu Viswanath, 29, died “of multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, sustained by a fall from a mountain,” wrote a forensic pathologist at the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Ethyl alcohol is found in common alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and hard liquor.

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How intoxicated the couple was is unclear. “We can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol but it is unknown to what level of intoxication,” an assistant Mariposa County coroner told the San Jose Mercury News.

The autopsy investigations were completed Jan. 4. No drugs were present in their bodies, lab tests found.

Taft Point in Yosemite National Park, California, on May 18, 2015Marcus Yam / LA Times via Getty Images file

Moorthy and Viswanath were born in India but living in California. Park rangers recovered their bodies about 800 feet below the popular outlook Taft Point, where visitors can walk to the edge of a vertigo-inducing granite ledge that does not have a railing. Taft Point is located near the end of Glacier Point Road and has sweeping views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls.

Viswanath's brother, Jishnu Viswanath, has said the couple died while taking a selfie. The park said in October it could not confirm Jishnu Viswanath's account and that Yosemite National Park Rangers were investigating the case.

"An official determination of the couple’s deaths could take weeks or even months," a spokeswoman for the park said at the time.

Moorthy wrote on a blog titled "Holidays and HappilyEverAfters" and documented the pair's travels on an Instagram account of the same name.