Woman whose body was found near SF Bay Trail identified

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A woman whose body was found in the water along the San Francisco Bay Trail in Sunnyvale Dec. 7 has been identified as Chuchu Ma, 23, of Mountain View, the coroner's office said.

The woman's body was found that morning by a passing bicyclist on the trail, according to Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Officer Shawn Ahearn. The Santa Clara County Coroner confirmed the cause of death is drowning and the time of death is 10:45 a.m. Dec. 7, 2017.

Investigators said the bicyclist made the grim discovery after 10 a.m. He called 911 reporting a dead body floating face down in a drainage canal in Baylands waterway, near the Bay Trail in Sunnyvale.

"It's very sad. This is a beautiful trail. I take it five days a week. Lots of people take it every day and some people take it to work. It's just very sad to learn that happened, whatever it is," said bicyclist Dan Coyle, who was riding in the area of the scene. 

Santa Clara County Sheriff's dive-team officers assisted in removing the body from the water. Investigators said the woman was half naked, but it's unclear if she was dumped into the bay here, or if her body floated from a different location.

"The medical examiner and us and our detective units are actively working the investigation to see what there were. We don't know the circumstances of why the body was in the water," saidCaptain Ahearn.

The Bay Trail area is part of a 500-mile loop around San Francisco Bay. It's popular with Sunnyvale residents, area workers, and tourists, who consistently give it ratings of "excellent" or "very good," because of the scenic beauty. Recreationists said they enjoy running or biking from as far away as downtown San Jose.

Following the incident, investigators declared there was no threat to the general public. Bicyclists said they weren't planning to change their routine because of the investigation.

"I don't feel unsafe here, and I probably am not going to start feeling unsafe here," said bicyclist Joe Bond.