- Mother says someone must have seen what happened while brother finds it hard to believe something went wrong
- Rebecca Weiss reported missing by husband after she failed to return home
- Her car and clothes were found near resort at Palos Verdes Peninsula
- Coast guards have spent three days searching for 5ft 5in woman
- Beauty spot is dangerous even for experienced free divers, say experts
- Regular diver Mrs Weiss co-owns two businesses with her husband
By Julian Gavaghan and Sam Shead
PUBLISHED: 04:44 EST, 16 August 2012 | UPDATED: 04:44 EST, 16 August 2012
Missing: Rebecca Weiss, who co-owned two businesses with her husband, is said to have vanished while diving
The ocean search for a missing businesswoman who vanished while free-diving alone at a luxury resort has turned into a murder investigation.
Rebecca Weiss, 50, headed out in the morning but failed to return home by the agreed time of 5pm, according to her husband Alan Weiss.
Her brother says it's hard to believe something could have gone wrong.
'My sister is a strong swimmer, and she was wearing a wetsuit, according to my brother-in-law,' brother Bob Causey said.
'So it would have to be something out of the extraordinary for something to happen to her out there.'
Homicide detectives have interviewed Alan Weiss but say he is not considered a suspect.
The case was turned from a missing person investigation to a homicide case.
'There has to be somebody who must have seen,' said mother Vilma Causey.
'This is not an isolated place. This is a resort. There should have been people.'
Her clothes and other belongings were found near her BMW X5, which was parked at the Terennea resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, near Los Angeles, California.
Mr Weiss, who co-owns two grocery businesses with his wife, who is described as 5ft 5in tall and Asian, says he spent four hours looking for her.
He reported her missing at 11pm on Saturday and today she still remains officially missing.
The disappearance of Mrs Weiss, who was last seen leaving her condo in her car, is being investigated by the Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau.
Danger spot: The Palos Verdes peninsula is a risky place to dive due strong currents and slippery rocks
Stunning: An aerial view of the Point Vicente Lighthouse near where Mrs Weiss is said to have been diving
Mr Weiss told the LA Weekly blog that his wife was ‘very experienced’ at free-diving, a discipline that does not involve using any scuba gear and relies on the ability to hold breath for up to three minutes.
Those who practice it are at risk of blacking out from running out of breath and the sport is extremely dangerous without supervision.
The Palos Verdes beauty spot, which is a short drive from her home in Marina Del Rey, is renowned for being very challenging, even to those with considerable expertise.
A review of the area on California Diving News warns divers about the dangers of entry and exit.
It reads: ‘The two main entry points, Long Point and Marineland Cove require experience, skill and some luck entering over the slippery boulders and constantly changing cobble beach.
‘A favourite entry point can be washed away with the next high tide. Watch the sets of waves. Small steps are required to enter and exit the water to avoid falls.’
A Coast Guard helicopter, a response boat and a cutter were joined by a Baywatch Cabrillo crew and an LASD helicopter in an overnight search.
Luxury: The Terranea Resort, where Mrs Weiss parked her BMW X5 before apparently heading into the water
Vista: The website of Terranea, which is described as having Pacific Coast style with a Mediterranean spriit'
Four divers with Baywatch Marina Del Rey have began sub-surface searches on Sunday and carried on yesterday. They will continue again today.
According to Shareen Ghabrial, who lives above the search area, a sheriff's deputy at Vanderlip Park told neighbors that the woman was a frequent snorkeler.
'On that first night ... it was quite a site,' she told Marina Del Rey Patch.
'Our homes here were fully illuminated by the helicopters and the frantic sounds of the workers in their boats directly below us. It was very busy here and very intense.
'That had continued through the night with just a short break of silence in the early morning.'
Comfortable condo: The apartment in Marina Del Rey where Mrs Weiss lives with her husband Alan
Location:The craggy Palos Verdes Peninsula includes a range of stunning cliffs and beaches
Mrs Weiss and her
husband are recorded as running several businesses, including Alan L. Weiss Inc and
Specialty Grocery Inc.
The Terannea resort, which is perched at the edge of a cliff is, according to its website, ‘infused with the elegance of a classic Mediterranean estate, the casual energy of coastal Southern California, and countless ways to spend your days – all tied together with authentic, genuine hospitality and a deep respect for this irreplaceable oceanfront setting.’
It includes guest rooms, suites, bungalows, casitas and villas, as well as restaurant, a spa and nine-hole golf course.
Rebecca Weiss, Marina Del Rey Businesswoman, Disappears While Freediving at Luxury Resort
Update: Marina del Rey Diver Missing
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