Two hikers who died a few days apart in the same area of Mount Tamalpais both died accidentally, one from fall injuries and the other from hypothermia, the Marin County sheriff's department said Tuesday.
Marie Sanner, a 50-year-old Mill Valley resident, and Magdalena Glinkowski, a 33-year-old Menlo Park resident, were both found dead in April after failing to return home from hikes.
The two deaths, occurring within a six-day span and about a mile apart near Panoramic Highway, generated widespread and lingering fears of a possible serial attacker on the mountain.
But authorities said at the time there was no immediate sign of foul play, and the conclusion remained the same after autopsies, toxicology tests and further investigation.
Glinkowski's body was found April 12 down a steep grade off Panoramic Highway and several hundred feet from the nearest trail. She had been reported missing earlier that month.
Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd, assistant county coroner, said her death was accidental and the cause was environmental exposure with hypothermia. She had no signs of broken bones or physical trauma. Investigators concluded that she was unprepared for hiking and not familiar with the area.
Sanner's body was found April 17 along Fern Creek below and west of the Matt Davis Trail. Her German shepherd was waiting with her when rescuers arrived. Her car was near the Mountain Home Inn on Panoramic Highway.
Investigators concluded that she was with a friend earlier, became separated from him while walking with her dog and suffered an accidental fall off a trail. The cause was blunt impact injury to her head, Boyd said.
He said other factors included a lack of natural ambient light, the lack of assisted lighting for night hiking, her relative unfamiliarity with the area and the presence of alcohol in her system. Her blood alcohol content was 0.12 percent.
The findings for both women were the result of a lengthy investigation by sheriff's detectives and their counterparts in the coroner's division. Investigators found no connection between the women.
No other hiker deaths have been reported on the mountain or elsewhere in rural Marin since Sanner and Glinkowski died.