Woman dissappears near Lake Tahoe

KINGS BEACH - A watch is the only physical link to a woman who disappeared under the waters of Lake Tahoe last weekend.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office has the watch the fully clothed woman tossed to two witnesses before diving under the water. The watch is white metal with a Relic logo and a black face.

A search for the woman was called off the day after her Aug. 19 disappearance.

"We didn't find anybody, and no missing person reports have been filed," said Placer County Detective Sgt. Jeff Granum.

The search began Saturday night after two teenage girls reported a woman in her 30s threw them her watch and walked into the lake. The witnesses called the sheriff's office when the woman failed to resurface after several minutes.

"The woman was waist deep in the water when she threw her watch at us and said 'Here, have my watch,' " said Renee Perona, a 17-year-old witness.

Perona and a friend were skateboarding when they saw the woman walk into the water in what Perona called a "baggy white sweatshirt." She walked about 200 feet out and dove under after discarding her watch.

"We kept watching because we wanted her to come back up," said Perona. But when she didn't, Perona ran to call the sheriff's office.

"Even while I was calling, people were watching the water," she said. Before running to use the phone, Perona told another woman on the beach to be on the lookout for the woman.

The search, which included the U.S. Coast Guard, Placer County patrol boats and a helicopter, didn't turn up anything.

"Because of the lake conditions and excellent visibility, the search was concluded at noon with great certainty that there were no drowning victims associated with this incident," Granum said.

A diver also checked the water where the woman was last seen. The area where the woman was last seen is relatively shallow, with a depth of six feet at 200 feet from the shoreline.

The only other explanation would be the woman resurfaced and wasn't seen, Granum said.

"There's no way she could have swam that quietly with all the clothing she had on," said Perona. "She would have had to swim real far because the lake was like glass."


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