WESTWOOD—Brian Lewinstein, a 23 year-old UCLA graduate, disappeared on August 12, after falling from the top of the Toketee Falls in Oregon. At about 5:45 P.M. on September 13th the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting two hikers observed Lewinstein’s body in the second pool of the falls.
Officials say he fell while taking close up photos of the view. The hikers came across his body after the weeks long investigation led by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office yielded no sign of Lewinstein.
Lewinstein, a UCLA alum graduated magna cum laude with degrees in political science, philosophy, and global studies. Fellow students and friends have mourned his death since late August, when he was declared presumed dead by officials. He worked as an intern for Ted Lieu, a Representative for the 33rd congressional district of Los Angeles in 2015. At the time of his death, he was in his second year at UC Berkeley School of Law and was expected to graduate in 2020.
According to a press release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies along with Search and Rescue personnel responded to perform a recovery mission, which included steep angle rappelling. At approximately 10:00 P.M., mountain rescue personnel brought Lewinstein’s body back to the trail.
The Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified Lewinstein and his family has been informed.
“We are glad that we were able to provide his family with some answers and sincerely hope that they are able to find some comfort in the fact that he was located. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and friends,” said Sgt. Brad O’Dell.