Missing Rider - Sonoma County

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Dick, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. wonderpup

    wonderpup Been here awhile Supporter

    Jan 6, 2004
    RIP big red your energy and presence will be missed :cry :cry :cry
  2. vrago

    vrago Plays with dirt

    Mar 31, 2002
    Occidental, CA - Sonoma County
    Melinda and her bike were found late this afternoon.

    I'm saddened and feel for those she has left. Many people really stepped up to help search for her. Touching.

    The unusually clear coastal weather today aided the air search. Lots of folks covered that road looking.

    No news on memorial services.
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Just obey!

    Jan 9, 2005
    Über Alles,California
    i saw the news on craigslist earlier,i don't surf here from work...

    she sounds like she was a good person to be around,i'm envious of those that knew her. i ride over in that area quite a bit and probably have waved to her a time or two.

    :wave see ya later,melinda.(hope nobody finds that in poor taste)
  4. BigT

    BigT Been here awhile

    May 21, 2005
    SF Bay Area, California.

    The search for a missing Santa Rosa motorcyclist came to a sad conclusion Wednesday with the discovery of Melinda Moore's body in a crevice on an 800-foot cliff near Fort Ross.

    Authorities said the 40-year-old Moore had placed her helmet and riding gloves on a rock as a marker before gunning her red Aprilia Tuono motorcycle over the cliff's edge.

    Halfway down, her body caught on a bushy outcropping. The motorcycle sailed on, smashing on the rocky beach.

    "We're looking at this as an apparent suicide," Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Steve Bair said.

    The discovery brought an abrupt end to a weeklong search that included hundreds of motorcyclists from across the Bay Area, private pilots, off-duty search and rescue personnel and a private investigator.

    "Melinda's body and bike have been found. Our hearts and thoughts are with Melinda's family and friends," read the message on www.findbigred.com, a Web site created by her friends to share information and organize searchers.

    Late Wednesday afternoon, a Santa Rosa police detective, a patrol officer and a chaplain arrived at Moore's Saddlehorn Court home to deliver the grim news to her fiance and about a dozen friends.

    Mark Hindman, a motorcycle parts entrepreneur, had offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Moore's whereabouts. He sobbed loudly when told his fiancee's body had been found.

    Adam Wade, a friend from San Mateo, said, "To some extent it's a relief to know what happened. But it's obviously not the news anybody wanted to hear."

    Moore, who had worked as a saleswoman at a Santa Rosa BMW dealership and was taking marketing classes at Santa Rosa Junior College, left the house last Monday, ostensibly bound for class.

    Friends said she was depressed for a variety of reasons, including health issues and struggles at school. She also was absorbed in a lawsuit stemming from a motorcycle crash that broke both of her arms.

    But that sadness seemed to be offset by a rich sense of humor. Moore was a member of the Bay Area Menstrual Cycle Club, an all-female riding group. A photo in her living room shows her wearing a T-shirt that reads, "Does my bike make my butt look fast?"

    "Melinda was this huge Amazon woman, a bundle of energy," Wade said of the 5-foot-10 Moore, who was known as "Big Red" for her vibrant red locks.

    Friends said Moore was there for other people in need and had counseled others out of taking their own lives. Nobody saw her final act coming.

    Bair said an abalone diver stopped to pick up Moore's helmet and gloves after spotting them on a turnout of Highway 1 on Sept. 19, the same day she rode away from her home in Santa Rosa.

    The Sebastopol man contacted authorities Wednesday after reading news reports of her disappearance. He led detectives to the site later in the day.

    Bair said the spot where Moore died is known as "High Point" because the cliffs there are among the highest on the Sonoma County coast.

    The area is about three miles south of Fort Ross on the twisty and scenic road, just the kind Moore liked to ride to clear her head. Bair said the cliff where she went over is on a turnout about 50 feet from the highway.

    He said detectives spotted the body and motorcycle, which couldn't be seen from the road, after they hiked down a steep trail to the beach and looked back at the cliff.

    The sheriff's helicopter was used to remove Moore's body using a long line and a litter. She was taken by van to the coroner's office in Santa Rosa.

    She was still clad in her leather riding gear, Bair said.
  5. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

    Jul 22, 2005
    Near Vana
    I can't help but think that if she had known how many people cared about her she would not have done it. It's never bad enough to take your own life...even if it feels that way. My heart goes out to all those who loved her and those who searched in vain...but especially to her family who must find peace with what has happened.
  6. BMWBard

    BMWBard Mystic Rider

    Sep 17, 2005
    much too close to San Francisco :P
    I've read through all of the threads here and at other sites. I am very saddened by this, both Melinda's death and that I never met the lady. And in some ways, the more so because of perhaps understanding something of what was going on in her head when she gunned herself over that cliff.

    I hesitated to write this, but I think it might need to be here. To anyone who thinks it in poor taste, or callous, that is in no way my intention, and apologies.

    Elsewhere on this site people may have read that I am presently in a fairly desperate financial situation; let me say I am not currently suicidal and this is not a hint note. What I am referring to happened some years ago.

    I am not near 6" and a redhead, but a good bit of the other life details I saw in the threads are common, right up to that one day, those years ago, I kissed my fiance, whom I lived with, good bye and left to drive myself in as usual. I stopped with an outstretched hand almost touching the bloody vehicle and stared at it for a minute. Then turned, walked to the nearest phone, and called a friend. "Sorry, I know it's out of your way, " I said to her, "but can you come pick me up and drive me today?"

    In her car, she very seriously said, "I'll drive you in as long as you need me to, ok? I'll come out every day until you tell me it's ok to stop."

    For two weeks she simply came over every day, just like that. Then I told her I was talking to someone professional, and it was ok to stop coming over. We didn't talk about it until much later; then she explained that she'd heard that tone before --in the voices of the people who called when she worked the suicide hotline. I think that's why I called her that morning, when I had a powerful vision of facing a certain viaduct on a little used interchange of the local feed to the interstate and gunning it into the support tower...so powerful that in a split second I knew if I drove anywhere I'd end up there.

    Some things are different, between Big Red and myself. I'd openly asked another friend, who'd often commented on our closeness and said any time I ever needed anything she was there, for help months earlier, showing up at her door at 10 pm. She'd told me to leave. I had walked all over town that night alone, thinking; the next morning I went about business as usual. It was impossible for me to try again after that; I can't tell you how incredibly hard it is to say something even once to even one person. I just hung on. And the scariest thing about the entire period was that after things got better I'd finally asked some of my other friends if they had noticed anything. Most hadn't, but the ones who knew I was fighting with depression explained that they hadn't wanted to admit it because I was the strong person in the group, the one who helped other people, the joker and hugger with a big smile for everyone...if I couldn't handle something, they said, they knew they couldn't and so they wouldn't be able to help anyway.

    I know why she put her helmet and gloves on that rock. If the diver hadn't taken them, her loved ones and friends wouldn't have spent all that time worrying and fearing for her. They would have known in a day or two. I choose the viaduct for the same reason...little enough used that no one else would have been endangered, but some time later that day someone would have found the wreck, and people would have known right away. You can't bear whatever in your life you want to end, but you also can't bear the thought of those you care for going through more pain than has to be.

    With so many people going out looking for her, it's easy to see she was well loved. Why didn't she say something openly to one of them? None of us are in her head. It might have been sheer overwhelming impulse that day to have it over with. It might have been that she didn't feel she could burden anyone with what was happening to her. Strong, vibrant, caring people often have trouble with that. It might have been a number of things. But anyone can break, at any time, and it can happen when other people don't see anything that terrible in the life of the person who does because something to her has become overwhelming or unbearable.

    If someone you care about, or even just like a lot...if anyone you value in some way...has problems in their life, even problems that seem not too bad, even --especially!-- if they seem to be handling it just fine with wit/humor/strength of personality/helping others...even if they are the very last person you could ever see committing suicide... Well, let them know you're there. Openly let them know you are there for them, and make sure they know you mean it. Don't worry about if it's appropriate or not, or think you might be overreacting. Don't think "she (or he) has lots of friends, family, a spouse...I'd be butting in." Don't think surely she'd talk to someone else if there was really a problem. Don't even be put off by your valued person passing it off with a joke. Let them know you have that shoulder, or whatever else they need. And mean it when you say it, never offer anything you aren't certain you will follow up on, because some bright morning, or some dark night, they may because you made them believe you be saying to you over the phone, "Sorry, I know it's out of your way..."

    R.I.P. M.
  7. BigT

    BigT Been here awhile

    May 21, 2005
    SF Bay Area, California.
    If you haven't been to the site (findbigred.com) lately, it's been updated and now includes this haunting photograph.

  8. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

    Aug 26, 2004
    That was beautiful - thank you for taking the time to write it out and share it with us. :thumbup
  9. jcolombo

    jcolombo Lurking Moderator

    Jul 3, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    That is spooky. I wonder where that came from, as the webpage notes that "it's a police scene".

    The photograph showing the road and the bike is freaky too.

    So sad.

  10. traveltoad

    traveltoad Aaron S

    May 8, 2002
    San Fernando Valley
    Very very sad.

    My thoughts are with all her family and friends.
  11. Foto Veloce

    Foto Veloce The Free Radical

    Jul 29, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    That photograph is spooky.

    I've been having some personal challenges of late myself and it's been pretty rough. I don't know what I could say to anyone possibly contemplating ending ones life but.. please.. reach out to those around you and allow those around you to reach out to you. It's been a couple of really hard weeks for me and I'm sure they will continue but I thank God for the close band of friends that have been reaching out to me, keeping me from looking into that dark horrible place she must have reached. :( My heartfelt thanks to those who have been helping me.. you have really saved me.

    I hope that her family and friends find peace soon. What a terrible thing to suffer through. My heart goes out to all of them. If you think a friend is in dire straights.. reach out to them and if you are in dire straights PLEASE reach out to those around you.
  12. the Luz

    the Luz Been here awhile

    Jun 30, 2003
    Glen Ivy, CA
    I accidently found the thread and started reading. My wife & I were on Highway one going from Petaluma to Timber cove the day after MM was found. I love that road. This thread has touched me deeply and I feel like many of you, even though I didn't know her either.

    Here is a thought that might help.

    The Legacy
    When I die...I want to leave you with something, something better than words or sounds. Look for me in the people I have known and loved. And if you cannot live without me, then let me live on in your eyes, your mind and your acts of kindness...Love does not die. People do. So, when all that is left of me is love...give me away.

    -unknown author