Body Found off Calif. Coast in Search for Missing Diver Rebecca Weiss

An unidentified body was found in the area where Rebecca Weiss went missing.

August 18, 2012, 5:44 PM

Aug. 18, 2012— -- An unidentified body was recovered off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., today near the area where missing diver Rebecca Weiss is believed to have disappeared.

The gender of the body has not yet been released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, whose homicide detectives were on the scene today after they received a call that someone had found a body.

Weiss, 50, was free diving in a cove near Rancho Palos Verdes on Aug. 11, her husband, Alan Weiss, told police. The experienced diver had gone alone, he said.

After divers, life guards and a Coast Guard helicopter spent four days searching for Weiss but failed to find a body, homicide detectives turned their attention to her husband.

When Rebecca Weiss did not return, Alan Weiss, 60, told detectives he went to search for her in areas where the two would frequently dive. He told authorities that he found his wife's car in a parking lot and her dive bag on the shore where she presumably entered the water.

Rebecca's mother, Vilma Causey, told ABC News that her daughter is an experienced diver who was swimming in calm waters near a popular beach.

"I was there yesterday because I wanted to see where this happened, and it's in a cove, it's nice water. There's no strong waves or anything like that. It is a very, very busy place, a big hotel and restaurant. It's for tourists and everybody. There are a lot of people. If she was there, somebody would see her," Causey said.

Causey declined to speculate about whether something suspicious happened to her daughter, saying that she would wait for the investigation to be completed. She said that Rebecca and Alan have been together for 25 years, married for more than 18, and that they seemed to be happy.

"I get along with him. They seem to be happy, they were nice to each other," she said. "Maybe they have their own thing, like any married couple. I'm not so involved in that."

Rebecca Weiss, who works as a bookkeeper for one of her husband's business partners, is an avid traveler who spent time in India volunteering at an orphanage, Causey said. Her dream was to open an orphanage in Costa Rica.

"She was a very active person, loves diving, traveling, loves her dog. It was unusual she didn't have her dog with her; she always had the dog with her," Causey said. "She'd say, 'I'm teaching Nellie to surf.'"

Causey, 72, said that her daughter's bag was found at the bottom of the steps leading down a hill to the beach.

"She is a very good diver, a very good swimmer, very healthy to be able to do all this. She has been diving all over different places," Causey said. "I just want to find out, bad or good. As a mother I will always say, 'No, she's OK,' but if it doesn't come out like that, at least we'll find out."

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