Woman found dead on Santa Barbara beach identified as Cal Poly student

The body of a young woman found Saturday morning in the ocean near UC Santa Barbara has been identified as Cal Poly student Giselle Esme Ayala of Santa Rosa.

Ayala, 18, was last seen about 11 p.m. Friday by her friends, with whom she had traveled to Santa Barbara for Deltopia, a spring break party in Isla Vista.

Her body was found without identification near the surf line west of Campus Point at UCSB at 8:20 a.m. Saturday by a person jogging on the beach, according to a news release by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office, which is investigating her death.

Ayala's friends reported her missing about 7 p.m. Saturday, and police determined she was the young woman who had been found in the surf earlier that day.

No further details are being released at this time.

Ayala was a first-year sociology major from Santa Rosa and a resident of Yosemite Hall, according to an email from Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong informing the university community of her death.

"Our thoughts are with Giselle’s family and those members of our community who were close to her," Armstrong wrote. "The sudden loss of any student community member can be difficult to understand."

Counselors are available for students by calling 805-756-2511.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune