Anna Bachman was enjoying a winter break with her sister in the San Diego sunshine when tragedy struck on Sunday as the 25-year-old woman died in a fall from a seaside cliff.
Bachman, who grew up in Cotati, was posing for photographs taken by her sister Gail, 29, at 5:19 p.m. when she stepped too close to the edge of a cliff at the south end of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.
"The soil gave way and she fell to her death," said her father, Richard Bachman, by telephone from San Diego on Monday.
Bachman's death was accidental, he said, and a San Diego police official said it was "just a tragedy."
Bystanders, including two nurses, attempted to revive Bachman after she fell, but paramedics confirmed her death at the scene, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said in press release.
Police said she fell 40 to 50 feet.
Bachman, who was due to return to graduate school classes Monday in Chicago, would have turned 26 on Thursday.
"I had 26 years of happiness," Richard Bachman said, describing his younger daughter as "the type of person who gave to everybody else before she gave to herself."
A techno music fan who worked at her father's former Santa Rosa veterinary hospital while growing up, Bachman maintained straight A's at Rancho Cotate High in Rohnert Park, graduating in 2006, and at UC Berkeley, where she earned an urban planning degree in 2011.
Bachman enrolled the next year in a urban planning and policy program at the University of Illinois in Chicago and was scheduled to complete a master's degree in June, her father said.