Missing College Student Found Dead After Falling Off Cliff

Kaitlin Goldstein was working toward a doctorate in architecture at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was also a competitive runner who was "really passionate about helping poorer places out," according to her brother. Like lots of other students curious about the world, Goldstein traveled to India to take part in an educational workshop about energy and development. She was even going to help install solar panels on the roof of a Buddhist monastery in a remote corner in the northern part of the country.

But what happened next sounds like every parent's worst nightmare: the 28-year-old disappeared after embarking on an early morning run, leaving her parents thousands of miles from her, praying that she would turn up.


Students and instructors on her trip say they last saw Goldstein running up a mountain at around 6 a.m. When she didn't return a few hours later, they went looking for her. The Indian police assisted in the investigation later that afternoon, but they, too, were unable to find the young woman.

Given the fact that the country has made headlines lately for all the wrong reasons -- namely, because many women have reported being raped -- Goldstein's parents assumed the worst. Her brother Adam, who called Kaitlin "too brave for her own good," feared his sister had been kidnapped. I can't imagine how any parent would be able to sit miles away and wonder, so it makes sense to me that this woman's parents got on a place and traveled to India to help search for her.

Sadly, Goldstein's body was located in a ravine below a trail. She reportedly slipped on loose rock before falling off a cliff.

Goldstein was working toward an honorable goal and it sounds like she was a bright, determined, caring young woman. There's something amazing to be said for how she lived life fully and wasn't afraid to go off on her own and run along unfamiliar trails. But her horrible story also reminds us -- and our children -- to be extremely cautious when we're traveling and to do things with a companion if there's risk involved.

Do you travel alone? How do you keep safe?


Image via Andy Arthur/Flickr



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