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What exactly happened to Manteca man?
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Heather Lundbom talks to a Bay Area TV reporter at Fort Baker as her supporters stand in the background. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

SAUSALITO — Tyler Silva, a 21-year-old Manteca High graduate, died Dec. 3 when he went over the edge off the Muir Beach cliffs in Marin County and fell to the rocks and ocean below.

Silva’s body was found in the surf days later by kayakers.

The suspicious circumstances around his death and what they perceive is not a muscular investigation led to some 50 of Silva’s friends and relatives from Manteca and out of state traveling to the National Park Service law enforcement offices Monday in Sausalito seeking answers

The group met at Fort Baker near Stinson Beach, south of the Golden Gate Bridge, where Tyler’s body washed up nearly a week after he fell from the 600-foot cliffs above Muir Beach where he had reportedly been hiking with a friend.  Tyler’s Mom Heather Lundbom has been vocally frustrated by what she calls the lack of an active investigation in the case by the park service investigators.

Lundbom had hoped to meet with Chief Park Ranger David Schifsky or members of his staff for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. She had been told the chief would not be available on Monday and asked if Deputy Chief Marin or Detective Whitaker might be able to attend.  If not, she asked if U.S. Superintendent Park Ranger Laura Joss could possibly meet with her, but her only contact was with the park’s public information officer from San Francisco. 

Two elements of many pages of circumstantial evidence – 80 pages in all – that she recently took to the National Park Service (NPS) included a life insurance policy taken out three days prior to her son’s death naming a friend as beneficiary and the fact a 911 call had not been made for some six hours after his fall.  

She added people standing around her outside the National Park Service offices Monday – many reportedly having evidence – had not been contacted by any NPS investigators to date.

“All of Manteca knows and sees red flags here,” she said.  

Lundbom said that it has been 266 days since her son’s death. She claimed a girl in her early 20s who had been with him that day, has never been contacted again by NPS for an interview.  She said that she has personally tried to call members of the investigation team and those calls have not been returned. 

“I’m devastated,” she said, “I know the Park Service has other important investigations they are conducting but why has there not been more movement in this case? My son is worth the effort.”

Lundbom said she learned that her son had been with someone at a gas station several miles away an hour before his death in that first week. She was told by NPS that the video security tape was gone when they went to check it out after her son’s fall.  But, she said, she had talked personally with the owner/manager at the station’s convenience store and was told law enforcement never came asking for the tape.

“The Marin County Coroners Office has been wonderful.  They have done their side of the investigation – it is now up to the Park Service to do their part of the probe,” she stressed.  

As for the girl he was with, she noted that she had named herself in a published interview in the East Bay Times following the tragedy, not otherwise mentioning her name on Monday. 

“When I got to the search area, she was there on days 1, 2, and 3.  We continued the search for Tyler the remaining seven days and she was gone – found posting party pictures on social media,” she remembered. 

She added that the Fresno Police Department reported that the girl was requesting a temporary restraining order.

As for the NPS investigation, she said she has many individuals who have information they have begged the NPS to take from them, yet they have received no call back or been asked for an interview.

She said the Monday trip to the NPS offices was very important to her, wanting to know why there has been no follow through by the National Park Service investigation and why it seems that everyone except the NPS is maintaining thorough documentation during an investigation of this magnitude – “the death of my child.” 

Lundbom added that the coroner’s office said their findings were “alarming” and did tests on his body twice.  

“I have quite a few red flags here that would cause any reasonable human being, let alone a trained investigator, to dig deep into looking at the circumstantial evidence I have presented,” she said.  

Just prior to the support group getting back into their cars in the parking lot for their return trip to Manteca, an NPS representative and public information officer – Charles Strickfaden – walked into their midst and said he would welcome their calls for information at his San Francisco office.  

In a text to Tyler’s mom, Chief Park Ranger David Schifsky said he would be happy to meet with her on a future date but needed to know just who would be accompanying her to his office.

 “As you are aware, the investigation into Tyler’s death is open as Park Rangers continue to work with the Marin County Sheriff’s Coroner Division.  Both agencies are working diligently to consider all facts of this incident – this investigation takes time.  Thank you for your patience,” he emailed her later on Monday. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email