Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

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Update by the edhat staff
May 23, 2022

The identity of a woman who fell from a Montecito Cliff earlier this month has been released by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

The Sheriff's Office confirmed to edhat that on May 2, 2022 at 2:32 p.m., a 911 call came in as a female who fell from the cliffs between East Beach and Butterfly Beach from the cemetery.

"The female was located by Harbor Patrol and fire and medical personnel. She was transported to Cottage when she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The decedent was identified as 47-year-old Jessie Briggs. Cause and manner of death are pending investigation," the Sheriff's Office stated.

While the official statement from the Sheriff's Office is that the cause is under investigation, Lt. Butch Arnoldi reported to the Montecito Journal last week that "... a subject parked their car on the Santa Barbara Cemetery property and then jumped off the property's cliff onto the beach below, in an apparent suicide."

The Independent published an obituary of Briggs where she was described as an "effervescent soul." She will be remembered on June 5, 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Jessie’s name to Ocean Hills Covenant Church.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.


Woman Falls From Montecito Cliff, No Further Information Given

By the edhat staff
May 11, 2022

Last week, Edhat received numerous reports of a woman who fell from the cliffs of Montecito with serious injuries. 

One edhat reader with an emergency scanner stated that on May 2, "A woman fell off the cliffs of the Santa Barbara Cemetery to Butterfly Beach below, sustained serious injuries. An ambulance is transporting her to Cottage Hospital with serious injuries."

Several other edhat readers reported they witnessed the large emergency response and believed the woman had passed away, and wondered why local news outlets had not covered the story. Another reader reported that a fisherman was the first to respond and provided CPR until medics arrived, but she unfortunately had passed.

To verify these reports, edhat reached out to the Montecito Fire Department who confirmed there was an adult female who fell from the cliff at the Cemetery on Monday, May 2 at 2:25 p.m. between Butterfly and East beaches. Although, additional information is available from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Edhat then reached out to the Sheriff's Office for information who responded they are "looking into it" and at the time of publication has not provided further information.

Additional information and details have not been available. This is a developing story.

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a-1652284312 May 11, 2022 08:51 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

Hmm.. why does this feel suspicious? If the Sheriff's Office has no info or can't provide info at this time, why not state that? It makes you think the woman did pass if Montecito Fire referred them to the Sheriff's Office who is also the Coroner.

a-1652288219 May 11, 2022 09:56 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

@Stoner - if that were the case then the Sheriff's Office would confirm a fatality and say as such. When there's a public death, the agency almost always sends out a press release stating there was an incident and identification is pending next of kin. They are oddly mum on this incident for some reason.

pstarSR May 11, 2022 12:35 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

Sbstoner is 100% correct. they wont out of respect for the family say a thing till its ok. odd how you say they are being disrespectful in not telling you business you have no reason to know..

a-1652313183 May 11, 2022 04:53 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

@Pstar, you're simply incorrect. There are press releases submitted about fatal collisions, falls, drownings, and other incidents all the time without the identity revealed until next of kin is notified. Look at all the past edhat articles or even the sheriff's website for these. What's strange is how numerous people appear to have witnessed the incident and there's been no statement or news from local agencies, when there are about similar incidents. So, what makes this one different? Does this woman deserve to have her identity protected while others don't?

doulie May 11, 2022 05:18 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

04:53PM - Information likely withheld at the request of the family and this request can probably be made for all by calling the involved agency(ies). I don't believe there's any requirement for law enforcement to provide information to the general public. Similar to a person dying in a hospital/care facility? In most cases we wouldn't know about it unless there's an obituary. Just a guess.

doulie May 11, 2022 08:19 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

5-11@05:25 - I don't know "how it works" and is the reason I wrote the information was "likely withheld at the request of the family." I understand cops/media release information they choose within the law and have released ID in the past. How does anyone benefit by knowing the name? I don't think it unreasonable if a family member were to make the request for anonymity or if the request was honored. I believe police keep a roster of all calls for service. This (is) public information if you want to request and possibly learn more about the reported incident.

a-1652373747 May 12, 2022 09:42 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

No one is asking for identity, merely asking for clarification of what happened in a very public injury or death. We can't even get confirmation if there was a death at all, which is odd. This happened publicly, lots of witnesses and is a situation that warrants a public press release. By the Sheriff's Office not even acknowledge its existence of ever happening, is weird.

AwareHuman May 11, 2022 01:08 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

When there is no follow-up it's odd because then one wonders why even know about it in the first place. Natural to want to know more! Similar to the woman found dead on the sidewalk downtown. Who was she? Dif she have anyone to give her an obituary? Some who knew her , or knew of her , would appreciate closure. Knowing just a headline only is pointless & frustrating. Curious people are not " nosey", they're actually the more intelligent amongst us, and less self involved.

JB86 May 12, 2022 12:08 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

I would speculate it might be under investigation because there are different possibilities - accident, homicide, suicide? The Sheriff's Office may just be simply prudent to be more certain of causation prior to any further release of information. That is reasonable to me.

a-1652373872 May 12, 2022 09:44 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

Even if those situations are true. It doesn't take 2 weeks to alert the public of an investigation. Say it happened, we're investigating, more details when we can. That's the appropriate response, but ignoring it makes a non-suspicious situation now seem suspicious.

CreekMoe May 12, 2022 10:16 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

It is odd that the story was not covered by new media for 10 days!!
This looks like a blackout to protect some politician or movie star?
Or when someone walks into a train or falls from cliff in Isla Vista, etc,
there is a standard report released. or story gets normal coverage.
And first story usually omits names until family or next of kin are notified.
So this is really odd.
Hence the idea that the woman is famous.
Or it is a local yokel.
And if the same thing happened in LA, there would be 3 or 4 news choppers with
live coverage. In SB, there should be 1 or 2 drones at least.

a-1652415343 May 12, 2022 09:15 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

SB County Sheriff Lt. Butch Arnoldi confirmed to the Montecito Journal that someone parked their car at the cemetery then jumped off the cliff in an apparent suicide. 

So... why does the Sheriff's Office respond to the Montecito Journal and doesn't respond to edhat? Playing favorites, an oversight, or purposeful? 

doulie May 14, 2022 08:21 PM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

A report being released to one newspaper and not all could be considered an action for political gain as Sheriff Brown is running for re-election. I'll guess there's a reasonable explanation, but, IMO Sheriff Brown needs to step up and explain the reason this occurred.

a-1652620180 May 15, 2022 06:09 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

Looks like a good reason to vote in an alternative to the present incumbent. Living in the city, I have not followed the race or even opened my ballot envelope, but I care about public transparency of public happenings.

SBSand May 24, 2022 07:20 AM
Identity Released of Victim in Fatal Montecito Cliff Fall

She was a native who grew up in Montecito, her father is a local attorney for over 40 years who probably has relationships that helped the info release get delayed, she had her roots here, was a high-end model for some time, I'm sure that there are also some connections that led to the Montecito Journal getting some info before the general public and likely her family requested that her name be released as late as possible so that they could have some privacy to grieve. Money and influence go a long way in a city like SB. Right or wrong, it is how it is. It doesn't really impact the vast majority of us, other than to illustrate that even though someone appears to have had a really amazing childhood, career, family, husband and life in general that the grass is not always greener. It's very sad to see someone take their life, regardless of if they appear to have a great life or not.

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