Mill Valley teacher suspected of sexual abuse is found dead near Drakes Beach

A surfer walks on Point Reyes Beach after a morning riding the waves in Point Reyes National Seashore.
A teacher accused of sexual abuse of a child was found dead this week at Point Reyes National Seashore.
(Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

A Mill Valley music teacher who was arrested this week on suspicion of sexual abuse was found dead the next day off the Point Reyes National Seashore, according to officials.

Darren Smith, 55, who was a Mill Valley School District employee for more than 10 years, was booked Tuesday on suspicion of lewd acts with a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office told the San Francisco Chronicle. It was unclear Friday when Smith was released from the Marin County jail.

A teacher in San Bernardino County was arrested after being accused of lewd conduct with a 16-year-old girl, according to authorities.

April 25, 2024

On Wednesday, Smith’s body was found in the ocean after bystanders reported that a surfer had been washed out. Bystanders called 911 at 2:36 p.m. upon finding a surfboard on the beach and being unable to locate its owner, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.


Rescuers found the body around 5:30 p.m. about 2.5 miles northwest of the Drakes Beach parking area. Smith was pronounced dead and taken to the Marin County coroner’s office for a postmortem examination, officials said.

Smith had been placed on administrative leave from the Mill Valley School District after the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.