Family members of Erica Maskaleris, an Oakland woman who was last seen alive Thursday, said Wednesday that Oakland police have suspended their search for her because they believed she was dead.
Oakland police Sgt. Chris Bolton said police told Maskaleris' family, “Based on our investigation it's probable that their loved one jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge and is most likely deceased.”
California Highway Patrol spokesman Andrew Barclay said Oakland police contacted the CHP to help them investigate the possibility that Maskaleris was the person who was seen jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge last Thursday, the same day she went missing.
Barclay said, “We're investigating a possible suicide from the Golden Gate Bridge on the day that coincides with the missing person from Oakland” and the CHP contacted Maskaleris' family to let them know.
However, Barclay said a body hasn't been recovered so far so the CHP can't confirm that anyone died by jumping from the bridge that day.
Maskaleris, a native of Fresno who has lived in Oakland for seven years, was last seen in a surveillance video from a bakery at 34th Street and Telegraph Avenue at about 8 a.m. last Thursday.
Family members and Oakland police said Maskaleris was wearing jogging clothes, as she had recently started jogging several mornings a week.
A spokeswoman for Maskaleris' family said Maskaleris lost her husband to cancer last year but she did not seem distraught or despondent recently.
Her brother, Steve Torres said on Tuesday that, “Erica was a happy person and was excited about visiting me at my home in Dallas” last Thursday night.
However, Maskaleris didn't make the trip.
The family spokeswoman said Maskaleris is the operations manager at GeekoSystems, a computer consultation company based in Oakland that she started with her late husband in 2009.
Maskaleris was a member of the First Congregational Church of Oakland and a vigil for her was held last Sunday and her brother held a news conference there on Tuesday to ask for the public's help in finding her.
In a statement, Maskaleris' family said, “We thank the community of First Congregational Church of Oakland for all their love and support. We thank all the volunteers for their help in the search for Erica. Finally, we thank the Oakland Police Department for being so diligent in their service to our family.”
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