REYES, Anileta Angelina

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REYES, Anileta Angelina (1880-1920), daughter of Joseph Reyes of Mexico, accidentally drowned on Christmas day, 1920 off Santa Cruz Island. She was single, 40 years old, and had been employed as a cook at the fish camp of Carl Erickson, who reported her drowning. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Santa Barbara.

In the News~

December 28, 1920 [SBMP]: “Tragedy followed close upon the festivity with which a little fishing colony on Santa Cruz Island greeted Christmas, according to the story brought to the mainland yesterday by a fishing boar commanded by John Albertson. The little craft also brought the body of Anileta Reyes, 40 years old, whom the story chiefly concerned. It was transferred to the undertaking establishment of L. E. Gagnier, where an inquest has been set for today. According to the report made to A. M. Ruiz, county coroner, by Captain Albertson, Miss Reyes and Captain Carl Erickson, in whose fishing camp the woman was employed as cook, passed Christmas eve at a neighboring camp and returned to Erickson’s camp together in a rowboat. Captain Albertson said Captain Erickson told him he did not observe the movements of the woman after his return to camp, but upon awakening the next morning missed her. The rowboat also was missing from its accustomed place. Later in the day the boat was found jammed against a rock on the shore of the island. The search for the woman continued all Christmas day and yesterday when her body was found in the kelp by Captain Albertson, according to his report to the coroner. The tragedy occurred near what is known as the Middle Ground. It was assumed, the coroner was told, that the woman had put out in the boat after leaving Captain Erickson, but where she intended going or whether she fell out of the boat or was capsized could not be learned. Funeral services have been set for 2 P.M. today at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. Interment will be beside the body of a sister of Miss Reyes in Calvary Cemetery.”

December 29, 1920 [SBMP]: “The death of Miss Anileta Reyes, cook at the Erickson crawfish camp, Santa Cruz Island, was caused by ‘accidental drowning by falling out of a boat in the Pacific Ocean, at Santa Cruz Island,’ according to the verdict rendered by a coroner’s jury yesterday afternoon. The inquest was held at L. E. Gagnier’s funeral parlors. The accident came as the aftermath to a Christmas party, in which Captain John [?] Erickson and the woman drank a considerable amount of sweet elder, according to the testimony of the chief witness, Captain Erickson. Captain Erickson said Miss Reyes was last seen alive as she was taking a skiff to row out to Captain Albertson’s sloop. Her absence was not noted until the next morning when a search for her was begun. The skiff, he said, was found battered against the rocks along the shore. After searching along the shore, he said he and a companion rowed through the kelp beds where the body was eventually found entangled in the seaweeds. The face and ankles were bruised and it was clothed only in stockings, shoes and an undergarment. The witness said the shore off which the body was found was rocky and the opinion was expressed that it had been battered by the surf upon the rocks before it became entangled in the kelp. Erickson said there was some wind and a rather heavy sea at the time Miss Reyes attempted to row out to the sloop. William Meyers, who accompanied Erickson at the time the body was found, was the only other witness. His story was in corroboration of that told by Erickson. The testimony indicated Miss Reyes had been a cook in Erickson’s crawfish camp during each season for the past 19 years.”