Helicopter, ground searches no help in locating missing woman

By Kathryn Reed

A Washoe County sheriff’s helicopter on Thursday has been flying over the shallow areas of Lake Tahoe, the meadows near Stateline and the area around the SnowGlobe venue in hopes of finding Alyssa Byrne.

As of 4pm Jan. 3 her whereabouts remain unknown.

The 19-year-old Petaluma woman has not been seen since the early hours of New Year’s Day. While she had been at SnowGlobe in South Lake Tahoe on New Year’s Eve, friends last saw her at the Horizon hotel after the clock struck midnight. That is the hotel where the friends were staying.

Alyssa Byrne

Douglas County officials have been looking at tapes from the casino.

“The tapes have not revealed her presence, but they don’t cover the entire casino floor,” Undersheriff Paul Howell told Lake Tahoe News.

Howell said reports of officials from his department calling people in Christmas Valley are erroneous. There have been no sightings of Byrne since she went missing.

The sheriff’s department did do a reverse 911 call to residents in Stateline asking them to be on the lookout for Byrne.

“The last friend to see her, Micah Alex of Petaluma, said it was his impression that Byrne was altered by alcohol or drugs when they embraced and greeted each other near the lobby of the Horizon casino before she went missing,” the Santa Rosa Press Democrat said. “‘She just seemed like something was wrong with her, like she wasn’t all there, you know?’”

It is still not known if foul play is involved or if Byrne went somewhere willingly.

Byrne was first reported missing Jan. 1 at about 9:30pm. South Tahoe police officers started the investigation, with Douglas County taking over the next day when it was determined she was last seen in their jurisdiction.

Search and rescue crews from Douglas County and El Dorado County sheriff’s departments are working the case. South Lake Tahoe police and El Dorado sheriff’s detectives, along with the FBI are also assisting.

A reward of up to $1,000 is available for information leading to the location of Byrne.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call Secret Witness at: (775) 782.7463 or DCSO at (775) 782.9905.


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