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Diver's Cause of Death Not Yet Determined

Rebecca Weiss of Marina del Rey was reported missing Aug. 11 after she didn't return from a diving excursion off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Following an autopsy on Sunday, doctors are conducting more tests this week to determine the cause of death of the missing diver whose body was found off the Palos Verdes Peninsula on Aug. 18, said a Los Angeles County Coroner's Office spokesperson. 

Rebecca Weiss, 50, was reported missing Aug. 11 after she did not return home from free diving in a cove below the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Her husband, Alan Weiss, found her car parked in a nearby public access lot and her dive bag near the beach.

Recreational divers found the body below the former Marineland site less than three hours after Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department volunteers, friends and family members had begun canvassing the area, handing out fliers and asking people if they had seen Rebecca Weiss.

According to Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau, Weiss was wearing dive gear when she was discovered, though Francisco did not know whether the gear included weights.

The sheriff’s department closed off access to the beach once the body was discovered, and divers swept the area for additional evidence.

A witness told deputies Saturday that he saw a dive bag sitting on a towel near the beach on the day Rebecca Weiss disappeared.

“I noticed that bag there, like all day,” said Daniel, who declined to give Patch his last name and who often kayaks in the area where Weiss disappeared. “It was there a lot longer than the typical dive would last.”

Involvement of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau in the search spurred speculation that the disappearance had turned into a possible murder case; however, Francisco told the Los Angeles Times that the bureau also investigates drownings as part of its mission.

Investigators have no reason to disbelieve the account given by the missing woman's husband and have no person of interest in the case, the lieutenant said.

Detectives interviewed Alan Weiss on Wednesday as part of normal police procedure, and he gave investigators the same information that he gave them when he reported his wife missing. He has cooperated fully with the missing persons investigation, Francisco said.

She declined to answer any questions relating to surveillance video from the resort.

Anyone who may have seen Weiss diving on Aug. 11 should contact the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

Jennifer Malara August 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
You never ever dive alone.
Laur August 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Such a sad story. My heart goes out to her loved ones. R.I.P., Rebecca.
gerrymulligan August 19, 2012 at 05:30 PM
i never go near the water!
Dawn Artinger August 19, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I'll be interested to know what killed her as she was an expert diver and has been diving all over the world. One thing she never should have done though is to dive alone! Very sad. My condolences to her family.
Larry washington August 19, 2012 at 11:06 PM
My condolences to the family such sad ending to her life. Larry Washington

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