Mount Tamalpais, seen from Mill Valley at sunset (Grace Rubenstein/KQED)
Mount Tamalpais, seen from Mill Valley at sunset (Grace Rubenstein/KQED)

Just to close the loop on a story on which we know there’s been a lot of public interest but didn’t get to earlier in the week: the Marin County coroner has ruled that two women found dead on Mount Tamalpais within five days of each other in April both died accidentally.

Magdalena Glinkowski, a 33-year-old resident of Menlo Park, was found April 12 after failing to return from a hike on Mount Tam. Marie Sanner, 50, of Mill Valley, was found April 17 &mdashp; again after failing to return from a solo outing on the mountain. The disappearances and the fact Glinkowski and Sanner were found just a mile apart prompted fears that the women might have been victims of a serial killer.

But the Marin coroner says there was no apparent connection between the deaths. Glinkowski, who had been a Silicon Valley software developer, had apparently driven to Mount Tam in a rented car on March 30. Although the vehicle was found near the Pantoll campground, no one realized she was missing for several days. Initial searches were fruitless. It wasn’t until a runner who had seen Glinkowski on the mountain came forward that rangers found her body near a remote trail. Police said at the time there was no obvious sign of trauma on her body.

This week’s coroner’s report ruled that Glinkowski died of “environmental exposure with hypothermia” and comments:

Information developed during the investigation into Ms. Glinkowski’s death revealed the absence of significant physical injuries to her person or toxicological factors that led to her death. The investigation revealed Ms. Glinkowski was unfamiliar with the area and unprepared for a prolonged or individual hike. Nothing was developed during the investigation to conclude foul play was a factor in the death.

Unlike Glinkowski, authorities relatively quickly realized Sanner was missing. Sanner, who was a kindergarten teacher in Oakland, reportedly drove up Mount Tam the evening of April 16 to go on a hike with her German shepherd. She was reported missing early the afternoon of April 17 and was found off the side of a trail near a creek a few hours later.

The Marin coroner found that Sanner died of “blunt impact injuries to the head.” The report also comments:

Information developed during the investigation into Ms. Sanner’s death revealed a blunt impact injury to her head related to her off trail fall. The investigation revealed a combination of factors, such as a lack of ambient light, her unfamiliarity with the trail, lack of lighting for night hiking and the presence of alcohol (.12 BAC) which were considered in concluding the investigation. Nothing was developed during the investigation to conclude foul play was a factor in the death.

Mount Tamalpais Deaths: Marin Coroner Rules Two Women Died in Accidents 20 June,2014Dan Brekke

  • Lovelle Miles

    Life did not begin by accident. Don’t let it end as one. So I thought of searching something that can help me to to somehow lessen this problem. Good thing, I found this mobile-based application which perfect for this kind of emergency. It has a direct routing to the nearest 911. Check this out:


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area’s transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED’s comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at:


Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor