A 64-year-old Daly City resident named Maria Lam was discovered dead at Lake Merced in the early morning of Tuesday, Oct. 30. The circumstances of her death will remain a mystery to the public since the SFPD will not disclose any information.
The SF State UPD was not notified of the death nor was their assistance requested, according to Chief of Police Jason Wu.
The incident was publicly reported on the Citizen app, a digital platform that allows users to post about police incidents as they witness them.
An app user first wrote that “an incident at Lake Merced” was occuring at 2:05 a.m. on Oct. 30. A minute later, another posting stated that police and firefighters were responding to an unidentified body and had dispatched “specialized K-9 units” to the scene.
By 2:29 a.m., an app user made a final report that a crime scene had been set up and officials were searching for evidence.
SFPD directed Xpress to the San Francisco medical Examiner who only revealed the person’s name, age and city of residence.
The secrecy led to speculation over the incident on the Citizen app.
“Still no media coverage 24hrs later,” nmoone01 wrote. “Hoax post.”
The last reported death at Lake Merced was on Jan. 10, 2015. On that occasion, firefighters discovered the body during a training exercise on the northern portion of the lake. There was never any further information disclosed about that incident either. KPIX reported on Jan. 10 that “it remains a mystery as to how he died.”
On Feb. 3, KTVU reported that the body remained unidentified and alluded to the possibility of it being “a light-skinned female.”
This latest incident went completely unnoticed by SF State students due to the lack of media coverage. News of the death was a shock to some students.
“Wow, did they really [find a body]?” said Zareen Parvanta, a political science major at SF State.
Parvanta said she wasn’t impressed with the secretive way the SFPD was handling the incident.
“Just another disappointment from the SFPD,” she said.
Wu said students should always be cautious.
“As with any location and situation, hazards and dangers still exist that potentially can cause harm, injury or even fatality,” said Wu in an email to Xpress.
Wu maintained that Lake Merced is generally a safe area and that by practicing situational awareness, most dangers “can be mitigated.”