Teacher arrested on child sex charges found dead, washed out to sea at Pt. Reyes beach, sheriff says

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Thursday, May 2, 2024
Teacher arrested on sex charges found dead at Pt. Reyes: sheriff
Darren Smith, a Mill Valley teacher arrested on child sex charges, was found dead after washing out to sea at Point Reyes, authorities said.

POINT REYES, Calif. (KGO) -- A Mill Valley Unified School District teacher who was arrested Tuesday on sex charges was found dead after washing out to sea within the Point Reyes National Seashore at Drakes Beach, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.

Darren Smith's body was recovered from ocean waters Wednesday after 911 calls reported a surfer being possibly washed out to sea at approximately 2:36 p.m. The 55-year-old Fairfax resident was reportedly last seen at around 10 a.m. that day, according to a press release by the Marin County Sheriff's Office. His surfboard was washed ashore around 1 p.m.

Multiple first responder agencies were dispatched to the area and began a search by land and sea, the sheriff's office said.

At approximately 5:33 p.m., a lifeless body was located floating in the ocean waters approximately 2.5 miles northwest of the Drakes Beach Parking area. He was pronounced deceased shortly after, according to authorities.

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Sheriff's detectives arrested Smith on Tuesday, on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The sheriff's office said that the school district notified them of the allegations and put Smith on administrative leave. Smith had been employed by the Mill Valley Unified School District since August 2013. The District's website lists him as a music teacher.

After a thorough investigation of the allegations, including forensic interviews and evaluation of evidence, detectives developed probable cause to arrest Smith, the sheriff's office said.

Smith's death is currently under investigation. A forensic postmortem examination with routine toxicology testing will be completed on Friday, the sheriff's office said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.