Gypsy Soul Identified: Family of Woman in Arcata Forest Notified

Press release from the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office:


Law enforcement hikes back from where the young woman was located. [Photo by Oliver Cory.]

On September 10, 2015 the Arcata Police Department received a report of a deceased female located in the Redwood Community Forrest. After a thorough investigation by the Arcata Police and the Coroner’s Office it was determined that the cause of death was suicide.At the time of death, the deceased had nothing on her person that would indicate her identity. Fingerprints were taken and submitted to the local and FBI fingerprint identification systems. On September 21, 2015 the Coroner’s office was notified that the FBI fingerprint identification system had positively identified the deceased female as Sarah Anne Walsh, age 25, from Crossville, Tennessee. How Sarah came to be in Humboldt County is still under investigation.The next of kin have been notified and funeral arrangements are being made.

Earlier Information:



  • This is so sad.
    She was so young and so far from home.
    It hurts my heart to think of how alone she was.

  • It is incredibly heartbreaking.

  • So sad, So young! Please if you are having a bad day or have thoughts of suicide please call someone, anyone and tell them what is going on. There is help for you. Let someone know…. please! This too shall pass! September is Suicide Prevention Month…..Talk to a friend

  • I feel for her family. However, unanswered questions. Where were her personal effects, if she just walked into the woods wouldn’t she have had a backpack or at least a purse with her? Was she traveling with someone? Or was she found first by strangers who took her belongings for themselves? Thanks, Kym, for keeping up with this.

  • Charlotte McDonald

    How terribly 😔 sad 🌹💧

  • Does anyone know if they are going to investigate it further?

    • They better. This was almost certainly NOT a suicide. I’m hoping they’re just trying to let whoever did it think they got away with it. No note. No ID. Nobody calling her missing. No vehicle. Not even.

      Not even if she was a cutter. That’s very fashionable in some circles, the ones who tend to dress like she did and tattoo themselves the way she did.

      Maybe she hung herself and the people who found her didn’t want to be any part of it… just moved the body to somewhere completely neutral… but more likely she OD’d and the boyfriend’s already flopped between some dumpsters in Seattle between fixes.

      There’s a whole nation of transient kids like this and the girl wouldn’t have been alone.

    • Corornor said county cops closed case because of suicide ruling

      • Really Karen? Even with the new info they are leaving it at suicide? That’s BS. I wonder if there is someone else you can call. 🙁

  • at least she died in a peaceful beautiful place, surrounded by redwoods

  • So sad just a young girl rip sweetie

  • I wonder if it would be possible to acknowledge this young women. Could there be a small “In memory” of Sarah Anne Walsh? Was there a drivers license photo after she was ID that could be used in case any friends would want to show respects?
    Just seems so unfinished…R.I.P. Young one….

    • Her stuff and boyfriend are nowhere to be found

      • So strange that nobody has posted any information on who she was with, where she was living, or even asked for help in finding out more information. If that was my daughter/relative you better believe I’d be hounding the media and pubic for help. So sad breaks my heart. Seems very unfinished.

      • I wondered about that too but didn’t know anything about her being in Cali. Lots of questions.

      • I agree, it doesn’t seem right. They should have checked into that.

      • Something really stinks about rather its speculation to theory.
        Five days earlier her boyfriend

  • Thank you for the heartfelt sentiments. Sarah was a childhood friend of my 3 daughters. They went to a small Christian school together and our families were close for many years. Time has separated us physically but not in our hearts. Her family is celebrating her life and will have a special time with family and friends on her birthday in Oct. We don’t know what Sarah’s journey was, but she is loved. Thank you for taking the time to share your care.

    • Thank you for telling us a little about her. Our hearts all went out to the lost girl in the woods. We’re glad at least that her family has her now.

    • Thank you COliver for the reply. It is comforting to hear that there will be a time for her to be remembered and family can have some closure.

  • We are struggling with this tragedy we have to process and our questions may never be answered. My oldest daughter says Sarah loved living and I choose to believe that. Last time I saw her was 3 yrs ago. She was quite a free spirit her whole life here and I’m sure into the next. Thanks again for all your sincere thoughts. I’ll be sure to pass them on to her family.

  • I am crying for this girl, so alone in the woods. Cannot believe she did this. I hope her family is loving and can find peace.

    • I can assure you she did not kill herself. Sarah was not suicidal. I’ve known her most of my life. She LOVED living. She LOVED adventure and was constantly on to the next one. There are countless things that could have happened, but I am just absolutely appalled at the lack of care that the Arcata police department has shown. I have called half a dozen times, left messages, and tried to reach out, but no one ever returns my calls. This is no tragedy for them. It is a closed case they don’t want to “waste” tax dollars for. Typical pigs.

  • Why don’t you email Kym Kemp? Maybe she can help. Do you know who she was traveling with? Sometimes a reporter can give the police the push they need to investigate further.

  • Sarah was a beautiful free spirit, not the type to off herself at random. She was living a dream traveling with her boyfriend at the time. Supposedly trying to start a new life out in the west cost. I know for a fact that prior to her death she was visiting with a mutual friend in North Cali. She was happy, full of life and didn’t appear to be abnormally emotionally distressed. I do not know how they got to Arcata,probably hitch hiking maybe on foot or something. I hate that this is so under looked! I feel like there are many questions to be answered and there needs to be an investigation. I will attempt to post a picture of sarah and her boy friend his name is Aaron Cobb and maybe be able to answer some of the questions.

    • Morgan, have you spoken to Sarah’s mom?

      • No a mutual friend of sarah and I has some of her stuff from a visit days prior to her death and she tried contacting Karen to see if she wanted some of thing she left behind but so far no response.

        • Also I confirmed the fact that Aaron aka boyfriend IS active on facebook and pleads innocent. From my own personal investigation I feel there is a lot more to the picture. Still many many questions to be answered.

        • I’ve spoken with her. She initially had questions but after speaking to APD she feels her questions have been answered and Sarah took her own life.

          • Thank you for the update. Today was her birthday and I’m sure the family is greaving and trying to remeber the good times. I’m so shocked by this tramatic news and is still hard to believe. May she Rest in Peace

          • Still, Sarah being legally an adult, her mother’s opinion should not let Arcata PD off the hook for finding out what really happened. I know she and Aaron look like babies to me, but we know at least Sarah was an adult. It strikes me they all might know more than they are saying and feel it will be worse to be made public, but the public, me for instance, needs better information. If the facts are entirely too delicate, still that doesn’t mean we can’t get more information on what the PD has done to investigate.

            I believe all Northern California counties’ Coroners are using dud freelance or agency MEs who are not famous for good work, and for the cops to rely solely on that input, given all the anomalies and evidence she was NOT alone… we, human beings still, do NOT just throw away young women like that, do we?

          • The APD told me that some of Sarah’s items had been recovered and that others were believed to have been taken by a transient group she had been staying with. Her mother and I were talking about putting out a story due to her concerns but once she talked to APD and they gave her private details she felt her questions had been answered. I don’t think the APD is being let off the hook. I think that sometimes we don’t get to know all the answers but if Sarah’s mom no longer believes there was foul play, then probably there wasn’t.

          • Did you talk to the boyfriend? What’s his story? Can we get some info on what happened? The story was printed; seems as though if there is more information learned then it should be shared.

  • This is a picture dated August 30th, 2015 of sarah and Aaron. Maybe this can help paint a bigger picture that’s so unfinished. May sarah Rest in Peace for she will forever be miss and loved by many.

  • Sarah I love you and miss you girl. you were a dear friend. i miss our talks and playing pool with you. i can’t believe your gone…. it still feels like yesterday we heard about the horrible news…. god…i still can’t believe it….miss you princess enna doll

  • Sarah and her bf at the time supposedly had a verbal argument that morning which led to a break up, Aaron grabbed his stuff said see ya and they agreed to go there two separate ways, Aaron claimed he was unaware that any of this happened untill he got to San Fran sick by backpacking, he claimed that was there neXT stop, all in all aaron claimed that he believed sarah was on drugs, and said she was always paranoid as if someone where after her and talked and acted as if someone was out to get her.

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