This is a tragic story. Three people have been charged with the murder of 67-year-old Tantra Yoga teacher Steve Carter.
Carter had been out walking his dog along a hiking trail in San Francisco’s Marin County when he was fatally shot multiple times. A hiker discovered Carter’s body on October 5th with his hand still holding the leash of his Doberman pinscher, reports say. His dog was also wounded but is reported to be recovering.
The three suspects, reported as young transients – two males and one female aged 18, 23 and 24 - with no permanent address, were tracked by police through GPS on the car they stole from Carter and through the help of multiple tips and surveillance footage. They were eventually arrested in Oregon and face the death penalty if convicted. The trio were also charged with the murder of backpacker Audrey Carey, 23, whose body was found on October 3rd in Golden Gate Park.
An outpouring of sadness and mourning from Carter’s students has followed the death of their beloved teacher. As a Tantra teacher, Carter is credited as repairing and guiding many of his students through difficult times in their lives and relationships.
“He was my mentor,” Greg Whitmore, 37, told ABC News. “It was intoxicating. People wanted to be around him,” said Whitmore, a firefighter who attended several retreats led by the Carters.
Carter and his wife Lokita, who is battling an aggressive form of breast cancer, had moved to Costa Rica last year in semi-retirement, but recently moved back after Lokita’s diagnosis. Both Steve and Lokita had previously been guest faculty at yoga centers across the country including the Omega Institute and the New York Open Center. In 1999, the two founded the Ecstatic Living Institute, a tantric center in Middletown, CA.
“It has been a very traumatic season for us with Lokita’s cancer, then the Valley Fire that destroyed our beloved Harbin Hot Springs,” said Logan Rose, a former student who took over running the Institute.
“This is the most devastating blow,” Rose said. “We are heartbroken.”
In a blog message, Lokita wrote there are “no words to describe our sorrow and despair,” referring to Steve as “the gentlest, sweetest, most good-natured and open-hearted man.”
A public memorial for Steve Carter will be held on Saturday, October 31st, location TBA.
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