Jaymie Rose Darrow, a 19-year-old UCSB student, was found dead in the San Luis Rey River, near Palomar Mountain in San Diego County around 8 p.m. on July 19. Darrow, who would have begun her junior year at UCSB this fall, was enjoying her summer vacation in her native San Diego, camping in a remote campground operated by the La Jolla Indian Reservation. According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, she had briefly separated from her group before she was found floating face down in the river. The San Diego County medical examiner is investigating the death in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. They found no signs of foul play at the scene where her body was found. An autopsy Monday did not conclusively determine a cause of death.
This Saturday, Darrow’s friends and classmates at UCSB will get a chance to celebrate her life. Her friends have organized “Dance Dance Jaymie-Lution” – a vegan potluck party on Saturday Night at 6 p.m. at 6668 Pasado Road, at the “Pink Mailbox” house. “The party is not a memorial – it’s a dance party. Jaymie would have wanted that,” explained Melissa Cohen, Darrow’s friend and a manager at the Isla Vista Food Co-Op. Cohen described Darrow as an athletic, curly haired brunette, a self-proclaimed “hippie vegan,” and a Michael Jackson fan. “She was electrifying – that’s the only way to describe her. She had the capacity to make everyone happy. Everyone loved her – literally everyone.” Attendees are encouraged to bring food and funny anecdotes about their friend to share. Katie DeDomenico, a UCSB junior who lived with Darrow in the dorms during their freshman year, agreed with Cohen’s memory of Darrow. “Anyone could see that she had a tenacity to enjoy every moment of life,” DeDomenico said.
A candlelight vigil and memorial was held for Darrow in her hometown of Poway this past weekend at the local high school. More than 100 friends and family members mourned the loss of a vibrant young woman who had played on the basketball team at Poway High. Darrow’s mother also hosted a party in her daughter’s honor at a San Diego winery on Thursday, at which an estimated 500 people showed up.