Missing Marin County Surfer Found Dead, Days After Arrest on Charges of Sexual Abuse

A search and rescue effort to find a missing Marin County surfer has concluded after the man’s lifeless body was found by first responders. Since then, authorities have released the identity of the deceased surfer, who had been recently arrested for sexual abuse of a child at the Marin County school where he worked.

The surfer was identified as Darren Michael Smith, a 55-year-old from Fairfax, Calif. Smith was last seen around 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, according to a Marin County Sheriff’s Office press release. Around 1:00 p.m. that day, a surfboard determined to belong to Smith was found washed ashore at Drake’s Beach. When the people who found the surfboard were unable to locate its owner, they placed a 9-1-1 call around 2:36 p.m., informing authorities that there was a surfer possibly washed out to sea.

First responder agencies were then deployed to begin a search. Smith’s lifeless body was eventually found around 5:33 p.m., floating in the ocean 2.5 miles northwest of the Drakes Beach parking area. He was pronounced dead at 5:35 p.m. and was transported via air to another location for a death investigation.

The Sheriff’s department release noted that Smith had been recently arrested and was facing filed criminal charges. According to an April 30 MCSO press release, Smith had been arrested for violation of PC 288, Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child and PC 288.5, Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. According to the East Bay Times, Smith had been employed as a teacher by the Mill Valley Unified School District since 2013, where he taught music for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Per the MSCO, when the district became aware of the allegations, Smith was placed on administrative leave and the Sheriff’s office was contacted on March 28. After an investigation of the allegations by the Sheriff’s office, Smith was arrested and booked into the Marin County Jail. As Sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn told the East Bay Times, Smith was released after posting a $200,000 bail.

The cause and manner of Smith’s death has not been determined, pending a forensic postmortem examination that will be completed on Friday, May 3, 2024. We’ll have more as the story develops.

The post Missing Marin County Surfer Found Dead, Days After Arrest on Charges of Sexual Abuse first appeared on The Inertia.