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January 9, 2013
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Cause of death in case of missing girl awaiting testing

An autopsy on Tuesday left investigators no closer to finding out what caused the death of 19-year-old Alyssa Byrne, whose body was found Friday after a three-day search.

El Dorado County Sheriff's Lt. Pete Van Arnum said Wednesday that the autopsy did not reveal a cause of death.

"Cause of death is pretty much pending toxicology, which could take 4-6 weeks," he said. "There was no obvious sign of death that could be determined."

Van Arnum said Byrne's jacket was found with her, but she wasn't wearing it when she was found on Friday.

Byrne, a Petaluma, Calif., resident, last used her cell phone shortly after midnight on Jan. 1 near the location of the SnowGlobe festival at South Lake Tahoe.

Officials speculate that she missed the shuttle from the festival to Stateline, where she was staying.

A search for the teenager focused on Stateline after one of her friends said he hugged there just before midnight. However, a review of casino security footage didn't show any sign of Byrne.

Her body was discovered Friday morning by a utility worker about 10 feet off Pioneer Trail, three miles from Stateline.

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 9, 2013 08:08PM Published Jan 9, 2013 04:54PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.