California woman found dead after going out to water plants and vanishing, deputies say

Authorities in Northern California are searching for clues following a woman’s death after disappeared from her Discovery Bay home on Tuesday.

Ching “Ping” Chen, the 53-year-old victim, was reported missing around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday by her husband, who flagged down a deputy from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to say his wife had disappeared from their Beaver Lane home, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release posted on Facebook Wednesday morning.

The husband told authorities that around 7 p.m. “his wife went outside to water the plants but had not returned,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The man started searching for his wife and notified deputies, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A K-9 and drone were used to try to find Chen, but those efforts weren’t successful, deputies said.

Her body was found in the water behind the house at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s officials wrote on Facebook. The investigation continues. No cause of death has been released.

The family’s home is in an unincorporated portion of eastern Contra Costa County that’s “surrounded by water,” NBC Bay Area reported.

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NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez shared video on Twitter on Wednesday showing authorities searching for Chen in boats.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information to call (925) 646-2441.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.