Police investigate suspicious death of Berkeley woman

Foxtails at Pt Isabel. Photo- Kathy
The body of a Berkeley woman was found last week at Point Isabel in Richmond. Photo: Kathy

The death of a Berkeley woman whose body was found floating in the water near a Richmond park last week is now believed to be suspicious, and police are investigating.

A park user at the Point Isabel Regional Shoreline found the body of Katherine Gravett at about 12:35 p.m. Thursday, July 2, said Carolyn Jones, East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman.

Gravett’s body was found in a rocky area of the water behind an East Bay Municipal Utility District treatment plant at the park.

The 30-year-old was identified Wednesday as a transient from Berkeley who was originally from Fremont.


An autopsy was performed Sunday by the Contra Costa County coroner’s office.

Jones said the coroner found no water in Gravett’s lungs. There was, however, trauma to her head and marks on her neck.

Katherine Gravett. Photo: DMV
Katherine Gravett. Photo: DMV

The exact cause of death has not yet been determined, but Jones said Thursday that “it looks to be a homicide. She was probably killed prior to her being in the water.”

After the body was found July 2, police searched the park, which was closed until about 2:40 p.m.

Gravett had been arrested in Berkeley in May 2014 in connection with an auto burglary.

Several days before her body was found, Gravett had been at the John George Psychiatric Pavilion, the Alameda County psychiatric hospital, in San Leandro.

East Bay Regional Park District detectives are hoping to locate people who may have been in contact with Gravett or seen her in the few days prior to her death.

They are also canvassing homeless encampments and working with officers from other law enforcement agencies as part of the investigation.

Police ask anyone with information to call East Bay Regional Park District Detective Gary Castenada at 510-690-6555, or the anonymous tip line at 510-690-6521.

There have been no homicides within the city of Berkeley in 2015.

Berkeleyside has requested a photograph of Gravett and will update this story if more information becomes available.

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