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Missing diver's cellphone, keys unaccounted for, detectives say

August 16, 2012 |  1:46 pm

Sheriff's homicide investigators said the cellphone and keys of a free-diver reported missing over the weekend by her husband have not been found, even though many of her belongings were spotted near a Rancho Palos Verdes cove.

Rebecca Weiss, 50, was reported missing Saturday by her husband after she did not return from diving in a cove near the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. Alan Weiss told authorities she went alone to the cove to free-dive. They are both experienced divers. Weiss was interviewed extensively Wednesday by a team of homicide investigators as divers continued to search for his wife.

Lt. Holly Francisco said Rebecca Weiss' car was found near the beach. A dive bag containing some of her personal items was also found near the site where she may have entered the water, but it did not contain her cellphone and keys. Francisco said the investigation remains ongoing.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Alan Weiss continued to decline comment.

"I do not want to talk about this yet," he said. "She is still missing."

Weiss' mother, Vilma Causey, told KTLA News on Wednesday that her son-in-law's behavior is "not the reaction of a person that has somebody missing that is close to you." The family has been passing out fliers and trying to alert the public about her daughter's disappearance and she said she finds it "very strange" that Alan Weiss is not doing the same. 

Alan Weiss told deputies he last saw his wife driving away from their Marina del Rey home in her BMW X5 wearing a wetsuit, Francisco said. He told authorities the spot near the resort was one of the couple's favorite diving spots.

Free-diving, in which the diver does not use a breathing apparatus, is considered dangerous alone, but Alan Weiss told authorities his wife often did it without a dive buddy.

Several law enforcement sources said suspicious circumstances surrounding the case warrant the involvement of veteran homicide detectives. No body has been discovered despite five days of searching.

Ben Wolfe, a retired Los Angeles County fire captain, lifeguard and a veteran free-diver, said Rebecca Weiss may have been wearing weights that would keep her body from surfacing. Weights are worn during diving to counteract the body's natural buoyancy


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