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,” the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Both Moorthy and Viswanath were “intoxicated with ethyl alcohol prior to death,” but no drugs were present in their bodies according to the coroner’s report. Ethyl alcohol is found in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and hard liquor.
It remains unclear how intoxicated the pair was and how exactly they fell. Andrea Stewart, assistant Mariposa County coroner, told the Mercury News in an email that “we can only conclude that they had consumed alcohol but it is unknown to what level of intoxication.”
Viswanath’s brother, Jishnu Viswanath, told the Associated Press that the couple was in the process of taking a selfie before they fell more than 800 feet to their deaths. They had set up a tripod near the ledge of Taft Point, Viswanath said, and visitors found the camera the next morning and alerted officials.
The couple, who were Indian expats living in California, had a documented history of taking daring photos and posting them on a blog and Instagram page titled “Holidays and Happily Ever Afters.”
In March, the couple posted one such photo of a Grand Canyon visit to their Instagram which has more than 26,000 followers.
The photo depicts Moorthy sitting on the ledge of the canyon and its caption acknowledges the danger: “A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscraper, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL??? Is our life just worth one photo??”
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