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Modesto mother’s son was found dead in Morro Bay harbor last year. Now she is missing

Crystal Danley
Crystal Danley

Before her recent disappearance, a Modesto woman had suicidal thoughts and talked about reuniting with her son, who was found dead in the Morro Bay Estuary in February 2016, according to a close friend.

Crystal Danley, 43, of Modesto, was reported missing on June 19, according to the Modesto Police Department.

The body of her son, Avery Danley, 22, was found by a citizen in the back bay near Los Osos in February 2016 after an extensive search by family members, friends and police, including his mother. Crystal Danley has two other children, a 20-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son.

Danley was last seen in San Francisco on June 18 driving in the direction of Ocean Beach in the Sunset district about 4 a.m. She had talked about swimming in the ocean and joining her son; a friend with whom she was staying tried to talk her out of it, but she left suddenly, according to Laura Zuccolotto, another friend.

Zuccolotto said that Avery’s death deeply affected Crystal Danley, but she refused counseling, which friends and family urged.

Danley drove off in a white 1990 Ford Taurus wagon with the license plate 4GHG377, and a national alert has been put out to police departments in hopes of locating Danley, according to Modesto Police.

Gene Stuart, a Morro Bay Police officer, confirmed Monday that they were advised by Modesto police to be on the lookout for Danley and her car.

Zuccolotto believes Danley could have driven to the Morro Bay area because it’s where her son died.

Danley had been taking care of her aunt in Modesto before her disappearance.

Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves said that Danley has gone missing before and that police aren’t aware of any suspicious circumstances in connection with her disappearance.

Anyone with information about Danley is asked to call the Morro Bay Police at 805-772-6225 or CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867.

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