ISLA VISTA, Calif. - A birthday night turns into a Thanksgiving tragedy for one UC Santa Barbara student who plunged to her death in Isla Vista.
UCSB student Melissa Portillo fell to her death from the second floor of an apartment balcony on the night of her 22nd birthday.
Neighbors say she met 22 year old Michel Kuster at Study Hall Bar on her birthday. At around midnight, the two ended up at the top of a balcony on Cordoba Road. Neighbors say authorities told them the two were kissing against the railing.
"Heard yelling," said neighbor, Melissa Maldonado. "Maybe the guy was yelling for help."
Kuster suffered head and back injuries but was in stable condition.
Melissa's body lay bleeding with a head injury and was unresponsible.
"Her eyes were so big. And still hadn't put her on a stretcher yet and all the blood was on the floor...the blood was clotting and it was just really sad, "said Maldonado.
Melissa was supposed to drive back to Los Angeles to see her family and friends for Thanksgiving.
"Thanksgiving? Like, that doesn't happen," said Maldonado, with a solemn look on her face. "That's so sad."
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