The body of a woman found in the San Francisco Bay last week has been identified as that of 37-year-old Daly City resident Christa Mahoney, who went missing last month, according to the San Francisco medical examiner's office.
Mahoney was last seen on Jan. 26, after having eaten lunch with her dog Buddy at downtown San Francisco restaurant John's Grill.
That same day Buddy was handed over to San Francisco Animal Care and Control after he was found wandering alone near Union Square. Additionally, Mahoney's wallet and phone was found on the San Francisco Municipal Railway line N-Judah along The Embarcadero, Daly City police said.
In the days before she went missing, Mahoney's friends said she was having mental health issues due to health problems. But, they said, it was very unusual that she would leave her dog unattended.
On Thursday, Mahoney's friend Paula Lykins described her as "a woman with a lot of energy," but said that after she was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, things changed.
Lykins said, "She went from someone who had a purpose in her life and got up every day to work and then went into a decline very quickly."
Lykins said, Mahoney, who worked at a restaurant and also had a dog-walking business, "started working less and less because she was dealing with a tremendous amount of pain."
According to Johnni Konstin, manager of John's Grill, staff said Mahoney "seemed a little shaky," in the hours before she went missing, but said nothing else seemed out of the ordinary. John's Grill announced last week it was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.
Sgt. Ron Harrison with the Daly City Police Department said last week that investigators didn't suspect foul play at the time. Police were not immediately available for comment Thursday.
San Francisco police said officers recovered a body, later identified as Mahoney, on Feb. 1 in the water, but didn't specify where exactly. They also said at the time that foul play was not suspected.
"I hope they (police) find out what happened, because tomorrow it could be their child or sister or mother," Lykins said. "I would like to have her death mean something, as tragic as it is; that people become more aware of the need to care for those who have mental illness. It really can happen to anyone at anytime," she said.
Mahoney's dog Buddy is being cared for by Mahoney's former partner, Lykins said.