Authorities today, Thursday, said that a body found on the San Mateo County shoreline this past weekend is that of missing Albany High School senior Cathy Qiu.
The 16-year-old Richmond resident may have run away from home nearly a month before her body was found Sunday.
The Richmond Police Department was investigating Qiu’s disappearance as a possible runaway case, said Richmond Police Lieutenant Bisa French. Richmond police received a report from Qiu's parents that the 16-year-old was missing on Sept. 27.
French said the death investigation has been turned over to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office. The cause of death is still unknown and authorities are awaiting toxicology results.
Qiu was an Albany High School senior and resident of Richmond. She was an honor student with a 4.25 GPA and a member of the tennis team.
The Albany Unified School District released the following statement:
"Albany Unified School District reports with great sadness that according to the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office, Albany High School 12th grade student Cathy Qiu passed away.
"The cause of death is pending investigation and awaiting toxicology results. No further information is available at this time.
"Qiu was reported missing by her parents on September 27, 2012, and Albany High School administrators have been in ongoing contact with the family since that time. Qiu attended Albany Unified School District on an inter-district transfer since the 5th grade. She was an honor student with a 4.25 GPA and member of the tennis team.
"Albany High School students will be informed on Friday, October 26th when mental health personnel will be available on site."
An Albany High School student identified Qiu as a fellow classmate after seeing a report of the washed up body on television Wednesday night, NBC Bay Area reported.
The San Mateo County Coroner's Office said Thursday that the body's dental records matched Qui's.
The Richmond teen was dressed in jeans, black boots and a red top, and had pink braces on her teeth when a couple walking along the beach discovered her body last weekend.