20 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by southbaysurfsessions
Patch Instagram photo by southbaysurfsessions

Divers: Missing Woman Snorkeling in Safe Spot

Marina del Rey resident Rebecca Weiss disappeared off Palos Verdes on Sunday.

Divers: Missing Woman Snorkeling in Safe Spot Divers: Missing Woman Snorkeling in Safe Spot Divers: Missing Woman Snorkeling in Safe Spot

Editor's note: This story was originally published Aug. 15 at 12:30 p.m. It has been updated multiple times since then.

Rebecca Weiss, who has been missing since Aug. 11, was free diving in a relatively safe area off the Palos Verdes coast, according to local diving instructors.

After four days, rescue divers ended their search Thursday for the Marina del Rey woman. When Weiss, 50, didn't return home on the afternoon of Aug. 11 as planned, her husband, Alan Weiss, went looking for her at their normal diving spot, authorities said. He found her car parked in a public access lot near in Rancho Palos Verdes and her bag on the beach. Detectives interviewed Alan Weiss on Wednesday as part of normal police procedure.  

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"The diving area is fairly shallow," said Dave Jensen, director of scuba operations at in Redondo Beach. "You have to go out quite a ways to get to an area that's deeper than 40 feet."

Additionally, the current is not strong until divers are several hundred yards offshore, according to Jensen.

"The general hazard in free diving is getting tangled up in kelp," said Tim Balcomb, diving instructor at Ocean Adventures Dive Company in Venice. "But I can't think of any major hazards there. The diving is fairly benign."

Sheriff's officials and relatives of Rebecca Weiss have said she was a strong swimmer and an experienced diver.

"She's not a stranger to the water," Rina Causey, Rebecca Weiss' sister-in-law, told CBS 2. "She lives in the water. So, that's why we're so shocked that this happened to her, that we cannot find her, if she did (go) snorkeling."

KTLA reported that authorities believe that Weiss' body would have washed up on shore by now had she drowned off the coast.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau took over the case Monday.

Alan Weiss has declined to speak with reporters, but Rebecca Weiss' mother, Vilma Causey,  told KTLA that her son-in-law's behavior is "not the reaction of a person that has somebody missing that is close to you."

Causey also told KTLA that her daughter recently found out her husband had a girlfriend.

Rebecca Weiss—who officials described as a 5-foot-5-inch, 115-pound Asian woman with black hair and brown eyes—was last seen leaving her residence in the 13000 block of Marina Pointe Drive in Marina del Rey, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau. She was wearing her wet suit.

Anyone with information about Weiss' location should contact the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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