MARIN COUNTY -- An autopsy is planned for Monday for an Oakland teacher found dead on Mount Tamalpais after going on a hike with her German shepherd.
Marie Christine Sanner, 50, a Mill Valley resident, was found at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday along Fern Creek below and west of the Matt Davis Trail, said sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd. She had been reported missing at about 2:30 p.m.
The cause and circumstances of her death remain under investigation. Boyd declined to comment on whether foul play might be involved because the autopsy had not been completed.
Sanner's vehicle was found parked near the Mountain Home Inn on Panoramic Highway.
Sanner, a Mill Valley native, was a teacher at Think College Now, an elementary school program for underprivileged students in the Oakland Unified School District.
Sanner had been employed at the school for at least seven years, according to district spokesman Troy Flint, and was teaching kindergarten this year.
The district contacted parents of children in Sanner's class by phone and sent an automated message to the rest of the families, notifying them of her passing. Counselors will also be available on Monday and remain on campus as long as needed, Flint said.
Sanner taught previously at Greenfield Elementary in the Salinas Valley and Hawthorne Elementary in Oakland. She earned a bachelor's degree in art at Colorado College and a teaching credential at San Francisco State University.
Her aunt, Linda O'Brien of Washington, D.C., said Sanner is survived by a large extended family, including a brother in Paris. Her mother died last year and her father still lives in Marin. Sanner was single with no children.
"She was just an extraordinary person and so compassionate," O'Brien said.
Boyd said there is no apparent connection between Sanner's death and the death of another Mount Tamalpais hiker who was reported missing earlier this month.
That hiker, 33-year-old Magdalena Glinkowsi of Menlo Park, was found Sunday. Authorities said there was no sign of foul play in Glinkowsi's death. The cause of death is pending.