The body of an experienced hiker was found at the base of a waterfall after she went missing days earlier during a Northern California hike.

Monterey County Sheriff Tina M. Nieto confirmed during a news conference on Friday that the body of 30-year-old Caroline Meister was found by search and rescue teams around 10:45 a.m. PST at the base of a waterfall near a trail in the Ventana Wilderness.

Foul play is not suspected, police said.

The coroner has yet to confirm the cause of death, but the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said that her injuries were “consistent” with a fall from a height.

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Meister had been missing since Monday, March 18, after she embarked on a hike from the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

Authorities said that Meister was an experienced hiker and was only carrying snacks for the day and was not dressed or equipped for an overnight stay when she disappeared.

Monterey County Sheriff deputies press conference

Search and rescue teams conducted extensive searches across a wide area.

“The Monterey County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, Drone Team and a California Highway Patrol Helicopter have been working collaboratively throughout the day to attempt to locate Caroline,” police said. 

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Residents at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center told authorities that Meister told them that she was planning on hiking a loop that would lead back to the Zen Mountain Center. She also mentioned hiking the “Windcave Trail.” 

Ventana Wilderness

Police described the 30-year-old as a white adult female, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. 

She had long brown hair that was likely tied back and was last seen wearing teal boots with a blue bag.

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The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.



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