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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 3:59 am | Fair 43º


Body of Santa Barbara Man Reported Missing Found at Campus Point

22-year-old UCSB senior Mark Romasanta was discovered about 15 feet in the water, but it's unclear how he got there or how he died

A 22-year-old Santa Barbara man has been found dead after being reported missing by his parents on Monday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Mark Romasanta
Mark Romasanta

Mark Romasanta was last seen on the 6600 block Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, his mother, Marie Romasanta, told Noozhawk. He hasn’t been in touch with family or friends since then, which is unlike him, she added.

His body was found at 7:24 p.m. Monday by people walking by Campus Point near UCSB, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars said. His body was about 15 feet in the water, and it’s unknown how he got there.

“We’re not sure if he fell or jumped off the cliffs, walked down … we’re not sure how he got in the ocean,” Sugars said, adding that Romasanta was wearing clothes, so it didn’t appear he was swimming.

The Coroner’s Bureau is taking over the investigation to determine the cause and manner of death and confirmed his identification Tuesday morning.

The UCSB senior worked at Santa Barbara’s Harbor View Inn, 28 W. Cabrillo Blvd., which is owned by his family. He missed his shift Monday as well as his father’s birthday, his mother said.

The family filed a missing person’s report with the Sheriff’s Department on Sunday night.

Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation is urged to call the Sheriff’s Department at 805.681.4100 or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 805.681.4171.

Although the cause of Romasanta’s death remains unknown, the cliffs have been a perilous place for students in the past. As the UCSB walking tour materials say, deaths and serious injuries from the bluffs have happened a few times every year since at least 1966, with alcohol and drugs often being a contributing factor.

In 2009, UCSB senior Noah Jason Krom, 22, was killed after falling from the cliffs near the same location on Del Playa that Romasanta was last seen. Krom’s coroner records revealed later that he had alcohol and marijuana in his system when he died.

There is a memorial in Sea Lookout Park for 22-year-old Tyler VonRuden, who was found below the cliffs in September 2005.

Authorities often report hospitalizations and injuries resulting from falls off the bluffs as well.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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