top of page

Strawberry Point teacher is found dead after child molest charges

A Strawberry Point Elementary School music teacher charged May 1 with molesting two children was later found dead after reportedly going surfing at Drakes Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.


Darren Smith, 55, had been arrested at his Fairfax home on April 30 after a monthlong investigation by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office that revealed two victims of alleged “continuous” sexual abuse, or at least three instances of abuse in three months, spokesperson Sgt. Adam Schermerhorn said.

Smith posted the $200,000 bail within a few hours and was released. The next day, he was charged with two felony counts of child molestation and two felony counts of committing a lewd act upon a child younger than 14, with an arraignment set for May 3.


But about 2:30 p.m. May 1, the Sheriff’s Office received a report that a surfer had possibly been washed out to sea at Drakes Beach. The call came from bystanders who discovered a surfboard washed ashore but couldn’t find a surfer in the water, authorities said.

Read the complete story in our e-edition, or SUBSCRIBE NOW for home delivery and access to the digital replica.



Recent stories

Support The Ark’s commitment to high-impact community journalism.

The Ark, twice named the nation's best small community weekly, is dedicated to delivering investigative, accountability journalism with a mission to increase civic engagement and participation by providing the knowledge that can help sculpt the community and change lives. Your support makes this possible.

In addition to subscribing to The Ark for weekly home delivery, please consider making a contribution to support independent local journalism. For more information, contact Publisher & Advertising Director Henriette Corn at or 415-435-1190.​

bottom of page