Prominent Tantric Sex Therapist Slain While Walking Dog

Monday, a little after 6 p.m., the body of a man was found on the Old Railroad Grade Fire Road trail; he had been shot to death, with his wounded dog still attached to the leash in his hand.

The Doberman Pinscher was taken to a veterinarian to receive treatment for his gunshot wounds, and the man’s car had been stolen.

The victim has been identified as Steven Philip Carter, a 67-year-old prominent Tantric therapist. Along with his wife, Lokita, Carter founded Ecstatic Living Institute in 1999, just north of the Napa Valley. Lokita Carter has written for the Huffington Post, sharing her experiences with Steve and Tantra.

Prominent Tantric Sex Therapist Slain While Walking Dog
Lokita and Steve Carter. (Photo courtesy of Ecstatic Living.)

Carter was an American citizen from Costa Rica, and he and Lokita had recently sold their home and business in Middletown to move to Costa Rica and build their dream home. Recently, however, Lokita had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and Carter returned to care for her. Lokita often praised Carter on her blog, and recently wrote about the anniversary of their first kiss.

“The side effects of chemotherapy can knock down even the best meditator, the most docile patient, and Steve has been nothing but exemplary, loving, kind, patient. I so admire his ability to self-care. He goes to Yoga every single day and for a 2-hour walk with the dog so that he can be in a clear, grounded caregiver space.”

Terri Zacanti, an old friend of the couple, lives in Montezuma, Costa Rica. She burst into tears when she heard of the shooting.

“Steve was one of the most gentle, kind, sweet and funny men I have ever known,” said Zacanti. “He’s all about love, this guy. He was the most loving, beautiful man you can imagine. This is such a violent waste — an absolute incredible tragedy.”

She also stated that the couple had built their dream home in Montezuma, and that they “were planning on living their dream together.”

Carter was staying with friends who lived near the hiking trail where his body was found. The trail is well-maintained, with a staircase made from railroad ties leading to the trail from the main road.

Lt. Doug Pittman of the Marin County Sheriff’s Department said that they had received a call around 5:15 p.m. reporting gunshots heard. That call led the officers to a nearby canyon, and they came back empty-handed.

Neither the gun nor Carter’s car were present at the scene, although bullet casings were found near Carter’s body. Pittman states that they are still searching for the car, which is a 2003 silver Volkswagen Jetta station wagon with California license plate 6PPG662.

“Anyone who spots the car should call 911 and treat the occupants as armed and dangerous,” Pittman stated.

So far, the motive of Carter’s death is a mystery. Michael Carter, the victim’s brother, finds it hard to believe that his brother was targeted.

“I can’t imagine that it’s anything other than a random thing. All of it seems very random and unbelievable. Nothing makes any sense.”

Convenience store surveillance tapes have been released that show two people that are under investigation in Carter’s death. The tapes show a long-haired man with a black hat, and a woman with blonde hair, who is wearing dark or black clothing. There is said to be a third person involved in Carter’s death, but they do not appear in the video. Also, the name of the store that released the tapes is unknown, although it is thought to be from the 7-Eleven store on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Fairfax, according to a clerk employed there.

The random killing theory is also deemed hard to believe by regular hikers at the trail where Carter was found.

Ben Tedder, of Fairfax, and his wife were hiking near where Carter was killed Monday, and were stopped and questioned by sheriff’s deputies.

“They just wanted to know if I’d seen anyone suspicious or anyone at all, but I could tell from the way they were talking that something bad had happened. I feel really sad for the guy.”

Tedder went on to state that neither he nor his wife have even felt unsafe on the trail.

“To hear that it could’ve just been random is really scary. Kids go up there to tag or do graffiti in the tunnel up there, but nothing like this. Stuff like this doesn’t happen around here.”

Anyone who has any information regarding the death of Steven Carter or the missing car is urged to contact the Marin County Sheriff’s Department at (415) 473-7265.

[Featured image by Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle]