Law enforcement authorities were called to a popular North County trailhead Friday after hikers found the body of a woman on a trail.
San Diego police say the body was found along the San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon Trail near the San Dieguito River Park at around 10 a.m.
A report released by the medical examiner's office identified the victim as 65-year-old La Jolla resident Ellen Comisso.
She was a professor for UCSD's department of political science, her family and friends told NBC 7 on Saturday. Comisso was an expert on Eastern European Economies. She is a Yale graduate and wrote a number of books on the subject.
The trail where Comisso was found is part of an open space preserve located east of Interstate 15 near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
The city of San Diego manages the park known for its challenging hiking trails.
The ME will now schedule an autopsy examination and determine Comisso's official cause of death.