The Long Beach Police Department received a call Friday morning at about 8:35 a.m. in regards to a body found in the Colorado Lagoon.

According to Lisa Massacani, LBPD public information officer, police that arrived at the scene found the body of an adult female found in the water. She said that based on the preliminary investigation, it appeared to be a suicide.

Later on, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed that the woman was Debby Winsberg, 51, of Long Beach. It ruled her death as a drowning suicide.

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senior80cit
senior80cit

I was stunned to have heard that my friend Debby had committed suicide. I remember when she lst came to a gathering of our Long Beach Satsang meditation group on Fridays. It was summer of 2010.
I experienced her as posed, and though small in size she had an engaging presence, yet an appearance of a pixie. When we were introduced at Satsang, an appellation from my country girl days slipped off my tongue. It made her smile. I called her 'a little fixin', and continued to do so the few months we were together in Satsang.
We had in common enjoyment of dancing. When she told us she was in a belly dancing class, I shared that years ago I had briefly studied with the great belly dancer, Serena, in N.Y.C. So, that evening the talented beginner belly dancer and the enthusiastic senior aged belly dancer did a mini performance for our meditation group.

I was always glad when Debby attended Friday meditation, and when she arrived she seemed drawn to me. Soon we'd be in a conversation together. The last time I saw Debby, I almost didn't go to the meeting as it was quite a distance. Some strong force drew me to my car and I drove to Orange County to the meeting. When Debby arrived I was preparing an avocado. She came over to me and watched with great interest. as I skinned the avocado with my thumb. Debby seemed fascinated to watch the process. I remember her comment exactly, "I like to watch how you do things." To me, it seemed a moment of togetherness.

Her brief friendship left an indelible, life-long impression on me. I love Debby. Yesterday when I fixed my dinner, I fixed a salad. As I skinned an avocado, tears slipped from my eyes and slid down my cheeks and into the dish of avocado---and now as I write, more tears are flowing. Debby, you left us too soon.

Quick Comment
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via the Belmont Patch

Debby Winsberg was the kind of friend who wrote and recorded a song for you when you were down. She loved to sing and play guitar but never posted on YouTube, because it wasn't about her, it was about sharing the song, a Belmont Heights friend said Saturday.

Winsberg was also an avid swimmer who did laps daily at McGaugh Elementary School's saltwater pool, said Sue Ahrend, a longtime friend.

"She would go over every morning at 7 a.m. That's where she was expected to be yesterday morning. Instead she went to the lagoon."

Ahrend, who taught tai chi with Winsberg through Long Beach Parks and Rec for 17 years, remained stunned by her friend's death, which she described as a suicide. Winsberg left a note, attached a weight to herself and jumped off the wood wharf of Colorado Lagoon on Friday morning, Ahrend said.

There had been a witness from across or down the street, and there is a fire station just around the corner, Ahrend noted, but they couldn't reach her in time. It was reported to Long Beach police at 8:35 a.m., about the time parents and students were walking and driving to nearby Rogers Middle and Lowell Elementary School, and commuters were heading off to work. Several readers notified Patch after driving by the lagoon.

Police and the L.A. Coroner's Office said the death of Winsberg, 51, was being investigated as a suicide.

That notion "is just mind-blowing," said Ahrend. "She did not share this last step with us, so we are left to try figuring it out." The death left friends broken-hearted, said Ahrend, who had to tell her Saturday tai chi students about Winsberg, who had substitute taught her class.

Winsberg, who lived in a Temple Avenue apartment in the Heights for several years, was not working, having taken a semester off from her Parks and Rec teaching, and had not been her typically light, loving, playful self the past two weeks. But Ahrend said she was no more despondent than others searching for work, "lived simply, she was healthy," and gave no indication she was in such despair as to take her own life.

Thus, friends were choosing Saturday to talk to each other and remember and share all that was sunny and caring about ''the real Debby," said Ahrend, who lives two blocks from the lagoon.

Winsberg, she said, was a talented guitarist, whose songs were about love, and often lighthearted. She invited musican friends to jam with her.

"One of her friends once said, 'There are never any songs written with my name in them,' " Ahrend said with amusement. "So Debby wrote her a song called 'Doris.' "

Winsberg had worked as an actress, a voice-over artist, and other freelance jobs. She was a conscientious friend who never failed to throw a "great, always really fun party at a restaurant" to honor the decade-turning birthdays, Ahrend said; they'd always be a surprise to delight and honor the friend.

So when Winsberg turned 50 last year, they returned the favor, throwing a big surprise party with more than 30 guests at May's Thai Kitchen, where she was a regular diner.

"She's a musician, she sings, she plays guitar, she writes music, she acted, she's so fun and playful. She was vibrant, and cherished her friends. You felt her love. That's the Debby she always was, and that's the Debby we're going to remember."

Winsberg is survived by two brothers and a sister who live in the Bay area, where she will be buried. A private remembrance among fellow practitioners of tai chi will be held soon as well.


DO YOUR JOB GRUNION!

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Incase anyone else (like me) wants to know more. UPDATE via the Press Telegram

LONG BEACH -- Homicide detectives were probing the deaths of two people discovered today in separate locations, including a woman found near a pier at Colorado Lagoon.

The woman's body was reported at about 8:35 a.m., and a preliminary probe did not pinpoint signs of foul play, said police spokesperson Lisa Massacani, adding there will be addition review by Los Angeles County Coroner's investigators.

"The preliminary indication is that it's a possible suicide," she said.

Earlier in the day, at about 5:30 a.m. a man's body was found on the Los Angeles River bed beneath the Willow Street bridge in Long Beach, Massacani said.

The man was in his 40s. The cause of death was not immediately known, Winter said.

The case was turned over to the coroner's office, according to Massacani.

-Angela M.

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