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Autopsy Planned For Film Editor Sally Menke

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(credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

(credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An autopsy is planned Wednesday for a longtime Quentin Tarantino film editor who died while hiking in the Hollywood Hills during a record hot spell, a coroner’s official said.

The body of Sally JoAnne Menke, 56, was discovered at 2:15a.m. Tuesday in rugged Beachwood Canyon on the west side of Griffith Park, assistant coroner Ed Winter said. Her black Labrador retriever was standing near the body.

Investigators suspect she died of hyperthermia on Monday in Griffith Park, when downtown Los Angeles was on its way to a record high of 113, Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral said.

“She was observed in a trail. She may have been isoriented because of the heat,” Corral said.

Menke, the daughter-in-law of famed cellist Aldo Simoes Parisot, edited every Quentin Tarantino film from “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992 to last year’s “Inglourious Basterds,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Menke’s other film credits include “Death Proof” (2007), “Grindhouse” (2007), “Kill Bill: Vol. 2″ (2004), “Kill Bill: Vol. 1″ (2003), “Daddy and Them” (2001), “D.C. Smalls” (2001), “All the Pretty Horses” (2000), “Jackie Brown” (1997), “Nightwatch” (1997), “Mulholland Falls” (1996), “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” (1991).

Menke and a friend went hiking in the wilderness park at about 9 a.m. Monday, Corral said. At the time, temperatures already were in the 90s.

They had a 16-ounce bottle of water and had been walking for about 45 minutes when Menke, who had a history of seizures, complained of dizziness and said she would return to her car, Corral said.

“Her friend continued on and didn’t see her again,” Corral said.

About 15 minutes after the two split up, another hiker spotted Menke on a trail. She appeared disoriented but declined any help, Corral said.

She also made a brief cell phone call at about 10:15 a.m. to her husband, Dean Parisot, who was in Canada on business, Corral said.

“Sally was truly proud of two things in her life — above all her family, especially her children, and also her work, particularly her long collaboration with Quentin Tarantino,” Parisot said in a statement.

When Menke failed to turn up after the hike, a friend organized a foot and horseback search, then contacted police at 6 p.m. when she couldn’t be found. Search dogs, a police helicopter, Hollywood Division officers and the Fire Department’s urban search-and-rescue squad participated in the search.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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