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Update: Cathy Qiu, Honor Student Found Dead on Beach, was Smart and Loved Tennis, Friends Say

The body found on a San Mateo County beach Sunday.

Updated at 12:50 a.m. Friday: 

Classmates of Cathy Qiu, the Albany High School student found dead on a San Mateo County beach Sunday, described her as highly intelligent, playful and always with a tennis racket.

"She was really smart...and she always had a tennis racket sticking out of her bag" said 17-year-old Albany High senior Treva Obbard, who shared an advanced math class with Qiu. Treva also spent the last four years in Spanish with Qiu, who was an honors student with a 4.35 grade point average.

Obbard said Qiu liked the television shows House and Smallville, and that she had a habit of punching holes in her notebook paper.

Many more students walking about during Albany High's open lunch hour said they didn't know Qiu personally. Some said they didn't know what to say about her death, given its mysterious nature.

Qiu's parent reported her missing on Sept. 27. Nearly a month later, her body washed up on a shore several counties away. Authorities are still awaiting toxicology and cause of death reports.

Updated at 5:15 p.m.:

Cathy Qiu could have run away from home nearly a month before being found dead on a San Mateo County shore 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.

Updated at 4 p.m.: Message from the Albany Unified School District:

"Albany Unified School District reports with great sadness that according to 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 tennis team.

"Albany High School students will be informed on Friday, October 26th when mental health personnel will be available on site."

Updated 3:41 p.m.:

Authorities identified a body found on a San Mateo County beach Sunday as 16-year-old Cathy Qiu of Richmond.

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.

-Jamie White contributed to this article.

*More to come on this story.

Paul O'Curry October 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Eddie's comment was not in accordance with your own standards at the Patch !!
Margaret Tong October 27, 2012 at 03:47 AM
two deaths in a month? Are there are no any folk in Albany who die in a month or every week or every day? You're making Albany sound a place to be proud of longevity
Karlamaria Guerrero October 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Cathy was my dearest friend and my tennis buddy. Everyday after working during the summer she would always call me if she wanted to play tennis. We would always work on our rally's and other stuff before tryouts began. She was funny, smart always a person to talk to. She would always help me on my homework and my sports medicine projects. I would always walk with her to the library with all my friends. Now she's gone and those good memories will be in my mind forever. I will never forget u kindness Cathy and the scarcasim jokes and Me talking to u in Spanish during practice just to mess with the teammates. I miss u Cathy so much it makes me tear up every time I think about u. RIP Cathy
A Roberts October 29, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Just curious - "Qiu was an Albany High School senior and resident of Richmond." I thought you had to live in Albany to attend Albany schools?
Dan Siegel December 31, 2012 at 10:19 PM
All districts accept some requested transfers. AUSD has a tradition of such to gain additional funding. If they get in trouble, they can kick them back out.

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