Woman found dead in Santa Rosa creek identified

A woman found dead in a Santa Rosa creek had been missing from her home since Thursday, Santa Rosa police said Monday.

Marie Christine Stark, 60, was found Sunday afternoon in Paulin Creek, which flows through Hidden Valley Park.

Two 12-year-old girls at a birthday party at the park found the body while exploring the creek. Police were called at about 5 p.m. to the park, which is in the hills of northern Santa Rosa between Parker Hill and Chanate roads.

The woman, who was carrying no identification, was face down in shallow water.

The area was thick with blackberry bushes and not accessible by trail, officials said.

The woman had been reported missing on Thursday from her Santa Rosa Junior College neighborhood home, Santa Rosa Sgt. Dave Linscomb said .

A police detective determined there was no sign of trauma indicating foul play and the investigation was turned over to the Sonoma County Coroner's Office, Linscomb said.

An autopsy was conducted Monday morning. A cause of death was pending toxicology test results, the Coroner's Office said.

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