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Local News

Hiker Who Died on Romero Canyon Trail Identified as Santa Barbara Woman

Nicole Ruth Peters, 36, was found more than an hour after experiencing chest pains and calling for help

A hiker found dead by first responders on Friday on the Romero Canyon Trail above Montecito has been identified as 36-year-old Nicole Ruth Peters of Santa Barbara.

Peters reportedly called authorities Friday afternoon to say she was suffering chest pains while hiking the trail.

She was found dead by first responders who struggled to access the remote location. After tracing GPS coordinates from her cell phone, Peters was found about two miles from the top of the trail off East Camino Cielo.

Paramedics reached the woman via helicopter about 2:15 p.m., more than an hour after she had reported being in distress, according to a statement from the Montecito Fire Protection District.

When they arrived, the woman was dead, with her three dogs by her side. Her body was airlifted from the scene, and rescue crews hiked the dogs out to safety, where they were turned over to Santa Barbara County Animal Services.

Susan Klein-Rothschild of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department told Noozhawk on Monday that all three dogs were picked up and returned to Peters’ boyfriend on Saturday.

Peters was the director of brand operations for Deckers Outdoor Corp. She was an avid spear fisher, wind surfer and mountain biker.

She graduated from Pepperdine University with a master’s degree in business administration in 2007. She was also an Oregon State University graduate who studied Chinese, finance and international business. 

“She really exemplified living life to the fullest — every moment and every breath,” a friend posted on “God speed, Nicole. Dive in the most beautiful waters. I will always cherish your memory.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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