The bodies of the pair, who lived in San Francisco, were recovered in October
The bodies of the pair, who lived in San Francisco, were recovered in October

The truth behind shocking selfie cliff fall

A couple who plunged 800ft (243m) to their deaths after taking a selfie on a cliff in Yosemite National Park in California were drunk, an autopsy has revealed.

Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband Vishnu Viswanath, 29, were "intoxicated with ethyl alcohol prior to death", a report says.

The travel bloggers died of "multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen", reports MailOnline.

In an email to Mercury News, assistant Mariposa County coroner, Andrea Stewart said:" We can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol, but it is unknown to what level of intoxication."

The couple, who were Indian expats living in California, died in October as they snapped a selfie at Taft Point.

Vishnu's brother told the Associated Press that the pair had set up their tripod near the ledge when they fell.

Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband Vishnu Viswanath plunged 800ft to their deaths at Yosemite National
Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband Vishnu Viswanath plunged 800ft to their deaths at Yosemite National

The final picture?

The autopsy was completed on January 4, but the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office stated it's still unclear exactly how they fell to their deaths.

Photographs taken by a random couple, Drea Rose Laguillo and her boyfriend Sean Matteson, are believed to be the last pictures of Meenakshi Moorthy.

The hikers say Meenakshi, who appeared in the background of one of their snaps, was sitting alone on the night she is believed to have died.

Drea and Sean think they may have accidentally snapped the final picture of her at Taft Point.

Drea told the Daily Mail:" There were only a few people there that day, the three slack-liners, us, the couple that passed and a group of four people - two of which were taking wedding photos.

"The person taking the photos contacted us this morning and said that [Viswanath and Moorthy] were there after dark."

The couple fell 800ft from Taft Point in Yosemite. Picture: Amanda Lee Myers, File.
The couple fell 800ft from Taft Point in Yosemite. Picture: Amanda Lee Myers, File.

Autopsy reveals the couple were drunk

They said she did not seem to have a camera or be taking any photos, despite running a travel blog and having an Instagram packed with snaps.

And they say she was not wearing a back pack.

"It gets dark extremely fast there, especially with the time change, it is very dangerous to not travel with a headlamp or flashlight at any time," Drea said.

"I personally have been stuck in the dark there about three times unexpectedly, so that is the last place you would want to be as the sun is going down."

The couple were not sure where Viswanath was.

"I never saw him and she was alone for the whole time I remember, which was a while cause it was the whole time I was there," Drea added.

They believe one of the tragic pair fell accidentally and the other died trying to save them.

The couple, who married in Kerala four years ago, loved travelling and blogged about their holidays
The couple, who married in Kerala four years ago, loved travelling and blogged about their holidays

The couple's website, Holidays and Happily Ever Afters, documented their love of travelling around the world.

In a post from July 2017, the couple celebrated their wedding anniversary by skydiving in Santa Barbara, California. Moorthy posted a video on Instagram that shows her in a T-shirt saying, "Gimme Danger," and giving a thumbs-up sign as she jumped from the plane.

She posted: "I believe I can flyyy. I believe I can touch the skyyy. 'Aaaand touch the sky I did from an effin' 18000 feet thanks to the unconditional love-ninja in my life, Vishnu, who literally took this year's anniversary surprise a notch 'higher' than last year's hot air ballooning adventure, by gifting this adrenaline junkie with one of the highest tandem skydives in the world!."

Dr. Nisha Kuruvilla, a professor at the College of Engineering in Kerala, told the Associated Press in October that Vishnu and Meekakshi were her students.

She described them as "very good students" who were "fond of travelling."

A total of ten people who have died in Yosemite, in northern California, this year.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.


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