Police: Remains of missing 76-year-old woman from Virginia Beach found

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Police say the remains of a missing 76-year-old woman who was last seen Tuesday morning have been found.

The family of Shu Jin Wu say she was last seen around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 17, when she went to take the trash out at her home in the 1500 block of Gallery Avenue in the Ocean Lakes/Dam Neck area of Virginia Beach.

The family dialed 911 a few hours later to report her missing, police said.

Officials said the remains were found around 6:50 a.m. Saturday behind a Food Lion at General Booth and Dam Neck Road. The Food Lion is a quarter-mile from where she lived.

Wu did not speak English, but did speak Mandarin, and did not have her cell phone.

Hundreds gathered at Beach Fellowship Church Saturday morning for the fourth day of searching for Wu.

“They came together for all the family members. All these warm, nice people came out to do that,” said a man named Raymond, who showed up to volunteer for the search.

Police alerted the group that gathered at the church and told them of the news. 

MPO Linda Kuehn says someone from the Tidewater Search and Rescue group discovered Wu’s body in a dense part of a creek bed behind the shopping center.

The group had arrived at the area early to scope out the places where they wanted volunteers, who had gathered at the church, to search.

Kuehn says they were grateful for all the people in the community who volunteered, including businesses that provided food and drinks for those searching.

“We can’t express enough the support of all members of the community to take the time out of their lives, in this weather, to help someone else. It certainly is not the outcome any of us had hoped for,” she said.

Wu’s family alerted police Tuesday morning after they say she took out the trash at their home and did not return.

Kuehn says police were notified Tuesday morning and alerted Virginia State Police about the missing woman, but she did not meet the criteria to have a Silver Alert issued. 

Virginia Beach Police released information about Wu’s disappearance on Wednesday and State Police finally issued a Silver Alert the same day.

Kuehn says their department started searching for Wu on Tuesday with canine and air search involved and also made a flyer that was released in their department and to surrounding agencies.

“It is very tragic. This is the most unfortunate situation. This is something we never want ever want to have to find. We wish we had, we had dozens of people out there looking. We can’t go back at this point. We released the information. We were constantly looking for her. That never stopped. As soon as we got that report, we had people focused on trying to find her. From the time we took the report to this morning, we had people that were constantly trying to find her,” she said.

At this time, police do not believe any foul play was involved but it is an open investigation.

This is breaking news and will be updated.

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