Eagle Rock Woman Dies After Falling from Balcony at UCSB

Police call the death a possible alcohol-related accident.

A former UC Santa Barbara student who suffered a fatal head injury in a fall that occurred during an amorous embrace was identified Sunday as an Eagle Rock resident who was celebrating her 22nd birthday.

Melissa Portillo and a boyfriend were kissing on the second-floor porch of an an Isla Vista apartment on Cordoba Road about 1 a.m. Saturday when the possibly alcohol-related accident happened, according to Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies.

Portillo, who had her back to the railing, and the young man fell off the porch onto a paved parking lot. She was declared dead shortly afterward at a hospital, and the young man was taken to a hospital with head and back injuries, authorities said.

Portillo, who was a 2008 graduate of Eagle Rock High School, according to her Facebook page, earned a political science degree this past summer. She was expected to drive to her family's home in Eagle Rock Saturday, according to broadcast reports.

OmarA. G November 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
so sad, my heart goes out to the family, no words can describe the pain this will cause.
Mike November 27, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Why the need to write "amorous embrace" ? Not very responsible editorializing in a tragic death of a young person.
Andrew Hindes November 29, 2012 at 06:56 PM
As a former journalist myself, I'd say it's reasonable to include under the circumstances since it explains how this tragedy occured. If the writer left out the part about the couple kissing, it would leave readers with the question of how it happened. It's just a horribly sad incident; nothing the reporter could say would make it less so.
alex December 02, 2012 at 12:31 AM
i find it strange that this guy" was her "boyfriend" but no one in the family knows him or ever heard of him.. he's from the neatherlands visiting friends here in california. oh and this incident happend in an apartment complex that neither of them lived in. this story just doesnt make any sense to me .. im still wondering if this was accidental I would look into this case a little more ...


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