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Missing Danville Teen Presumed to Have Jumped from Golden Gate Bridge

Allison "Alliy" Bayliss, 15, was last seen Monday. Her bike was found in a parking lot near the Golden Gate Bridge.

The search for a missing 15-year-old girl from Danville has turned into a recovery effort as authorities announced Wednesday afternoon that she is presumed to have died jumping  from the Golden Gate Bridge Monday.

The search for Allison Bayliss, last seen at her high school Monday morning, drew thousands of strangers to Facebook pages and hundreds of volunteer searchers to the rugged foothills around the Golden Gate Bridge.

It appears she rode her purple mountain bike to a BART station nine miles away from her Danville home and took the 40-minute trip to the Embarcadero near Fisherman's Wharf.

When police first announced the search Monday night, they reported that they didn't suspect a crime, based on conversations with her parents, and announced that they were looking for a teen at-risk of harming herself.

The Diamondback bike, a helmet by its side, was found by Alliy's father around 4:45 a.m. Tuesday. Directions he found on her computer led him to the bike, which was locked to a bike rack in a parking lot about eight miles away from the Embarcadero, at Fort Point. Fort Point, a national historic site in the Marin Headlands, overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge, a known suicide magnet that draws about 19 people annually to their deaths.

In fact, just last week San Francisco Bay Area-based speaker Kevin Hines, one of only about 30 people to have survived a suicide attempt from the bridge, visited Bayliss’ school, San Ramon Valley High, to tell his story and spread awareness that “suicide is never the solution to any problem.” As he spoke, many students were reduced to tears.

In April, a 16-year-old girl from Southern California made local headlines by miraculously surviving a jump from the bridge. She was rescued from the cold waters of San Francisco Bay by residents of Alamo and Walnut Creek, two communities bordering Danville.

In October 2008, after years of controversy, the Golden Gate Bridge board of directors finally agreed to erect a net barrier to help deter jumpers. It's going to cost $40 million and funding hasn't yet been identified.

“Now that our students are seeing a suicide crisis happening in front of them, some are beginning to realize that suicide prevention happens right now, not when it’s already too late,” said San Ramon Valley senior Amanda Nguyen, who wrote a column about Alliy for Danville Patch.

“This unfortunate situation has opened the eyes of many teenagers,” Nguyen wrote. “They are suddenly starting to realize how much they can relate to Alliy, in the sense that they have — at one point or another — just wanted to run away from it all.”

The sobering reality of Alliy's situation stands in stark contrast to the town's demographics as a wealthy suburb of 42,000 nestled 30 miles east of San Francisco. In addition to being the hometown of famous airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger, it recently made headlines for its residents spending the most money among any city in California on clothing.

Now it’s attracting the media spotlight for how the community has been rallying around the Bayliss family.

Multiple Facebook pages supporting the search effort sprung up overnight, one of them attracting 11,000 members in 24 hours. It has since been shut down but others are taking its place. An estimated 100 people from Danville left behind their jobs and other obligations and spent Tuesday posting fliers and combing the trails, beaches and city streets looking for Allison.

Danville Police Chief Steve Simpkins was somber about the news that Allison likely will not be found alive.

 “This is a very sad outcome,” he said. “Our hearts go out to the Bayliss family at this time, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts.”

By all accounts Alliy looks like typical Danville-raised teen: She attended elementary and middle school there; has three siblings and sported a fresh athletic look: long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, blue eyes and a swimmer's tan from her time on the school's swim team. Fliers seeking her safe returned showed photos of her smiling widely — her teeth recently freed of braces.

There are even videos of her skillfully playing popular classical tunes on the piano, such as the theme from the movie "The Titanic," posted on a YouTube channel. 

It’s likely hundreds will attend a multi-denominational vigil planned for her and her family from 7 to 8 p.m. tonight at Danville Congregational Church.


lori May 25, 2011 at 09:23 PM
justlori i pray for strength for alley's family and friends, to deal with this sad time. i pray for alley, to be safe and well. heading out to the very site a recent speaker talked about at her school, recounting his failed attempt at suicide, is tragic. certainly not the intention of the speaker. kids are best at keeping their feelings bottled up. her parents may have had no indication that she was in such turmoil. teens face many changes, including an upset in hormonal balance, that can lead to fatal discouragement. no one really knows what she was going thru, but many can imagine. please take time out of your day to offer prayers for this child and her famiy. bless all of those who search for her.
Lily May 25, 2011 at 09:27 PM
This story is really sad and i hope that she is found! God bless Allison!
Lily May 25, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Well u r nice.
Eric May 25, 2011 at 09:30 PM
I like your post Gail but living in todays world is much more stressful than what you and I probably experienced. The cell phone and internet world (Facebook,Tumblr,etc) are often a negative force that is hard to deal with. Even with good parenting as you have mentioned. Prayers for Allison Bayliss, her family and friends.
niks banks May 25, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Niks It is so sad thay Ally decided there was no other options than to take her own life but blaming the parents at this point will only compound their pains. Whether one is an efficient parent or not, who would want their child/children dead. I hope against hope that this girl is found dead or alive to help the parents in the area of closure. Bullying or not, this is not what is killing our children, the systemt is. All these freedom and rights are not helping parents to raise or bring up their children in the right way anymore. Our system has turned kids into idols that must be worshiped. Situations where Ally's parents could have been scolded for when they were growing up, are things that children today will regard as abuse and I am not talking of physical. I was watching Dr. Phil the other day about a fourteen year old claiming to being disrespected by her father. Dr. Phil made the father cry and appologize on national tv. He offered he a free vacation and an all expense paid private school. I t is absurd. I never heard of disrespecting a child when you tried to direct them to the right path. Our own law is destroying families. Now come to think of it, ally should have been comitted to be able to get the help she needed but at this point we can only pray. May the Lord take care of her whereever shis is.
Colleen Brennan May 25, 2011 at 09:33 PM
I am hopeful that people who are commenting here will stop placing blame. No one posting knows this family; it's entirely possible that neither bullying nor bad parenting are at fault. She may simply have been suffering from a debilitating mental illness. Her parents may have known she was depressed and were doing everything they could to help her. Whatever the case, it's a tragedy all the way around, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.
Vicki L. May 25, 2011 at 09:35 PM
I agree, Weezier. My grandson is biracial and I wonder if this type of limelight would be shown on him if anything were to happen to him. If you look on the Missing and Exploited Children's website, you will see that the majority of children who are missing are African-American. There is a discrepancy, no matter what anyone says. If Natalee Holloway had been black, do you think there would have been all this exposure and a movie made about it to boot? Of course not. Can anyone name one black child in this country who is now a missing child? Of course not. As a white mother of 2, and a grandmother of one, this is not acceptable. We all should be one race - the human race.
Anony233 May 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM
I find it weird the bike was chained up. If someone was going to committ suicide, why would they worry about someone stealing their bike?
Charkotte May 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Robin, My son tried to hang himself at the age of 12. I work in the medical field and never saw it coming.On that day he was his usual happy self. It took several months of therapy before we got an answer as to "Why?" The answer floored me.It was the 6mo anniversary of 9/11, everyone at scholl,on TV and the radio were talking about it. His answer "All these people died and I feel bad because I can't help them." Parents,please don't under estimate how much your child knows. We try to protect them from the worlds cruelties but it's out there and they know more than we think.Talk to your kids!
sammy May 25, 2011 at 09:53 PM
strange that the bike was locked as if she was going to return soon was she waiting for some unknown boyfriend she was seeing ?? and i wonder if she decided to take off with the guy and left the bike to throw off the police as to where she really is.
Vicki L. May 25, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Jeeez.....and I thought we had stupid people in this area!!
Jennifer May 25, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Something just doesn't seem right about this story. Why did they think she was at risk? Was there video of her riding the BART to San Francisco? How did the dad know where to look for the bike? How did they come to all these conclusions?
Bill Deacy May 25, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Why do I feel much sadness, not only for this young girl, her parents, her siblings, her friends; but also, for a number of commentaries mentioned above. Hopefully, all the people who have given their thoughts here; will re-read their statements, and realize that perhaps they missed the point...............IT'S ABOUT THE CHILD...not the parents..not the unions.......IT'S ABOUT THE YOUNG TROUBLED GIRL !! Bill
mary May 25, 2011 at 10:16 PM
yes bill, you,re so right it,s all about the girl and why couldn,t the parents see this . i just don,t understand that at all. when my children were growing up ,if their was something bothering them i surely would have seen it. a parent knows their children all to well . mary.......from somerset,pa...
michael bernstein May 25, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Sad and strange. Lots of holes in this story. Alot does not make sense. Actually, any kid killing themself is odd and strange but come on....last week Kevin Hines spoke at her school about suicide and surviving the jump off the GG? REALLY???....not saying kevin suggested the kids jump but something about his story CLICKED. Something.....does not add up. The laptop with directions helped the dad find the bike and took her to the bridge....i think this was a set up. I think Kevin gave her the idea. She took off with someone. I hope i am right.
Jak May 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM
I find it odd that she locked up her bike if she had no intention of coming back. Have the police already looked into the possibility that she was meeting someone there, and that person could be behind her disappearance?
Kari Hulac (Editor) May 25, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Police knew from talking to her parents that she was at-risk of harming herself and were sure it wasn't a criminal/abduction case.
Tim May 25, 2011 at 11:13 PM
How do they know for sure that it was a suicide? At 10am how could there not be a witness seeing her jump (or if she had help)? I don't believe based on the evidence that she was abducted either, but how do they know for sure she didn't meet some creep online or something and take off with them? It also doesn't make sense that she would take care to lock up her bike. Doesn't that give an indication she may have meant to return?
cinnabunneee May 26, 2011 at 12:30 AM
I know there is nothing saying bullying was involved in this sad story. However even if it was not all out bullying maybe just a rough few days...I feel the main problem with children who are bullied or have rough days and also what makes things different from years ago is that today almost all children come home to an empty house. When I had a bad day and when I went thru a year of being bullied I came home and my Mom was there to listen and brain storm ways to make the next day better. These children have no one to decompress with. Just empty homes. Its sad. I pray they find this girl regardless so at least her parents will know.
Gary May 26, 2011 at 04:21 AM
That is very sad, I wish I could have talked to her, I could have helped the poor child, I am good at helping people, I still have hope that they find her. and her poor father I saw him on the news, I have no children of my own, but I could not imangen the pain that the perents must go thru. my pryers go out to the family. and I hope and I will never stop that hopeing that they find there little girl. this storey brakes my heart. she road her bicycle and then took bart and road her bike too the bridge. for now on I am going to be nice to everyone I meet, because maybe someone is crying out for help. so lets quite being selfish and help our fellow person.
Lindsey May 26, 2011 at 01:37 PM
You don’t know if it was bullying, she could have been extremely depressed, and I’m not talking the depression where you feel a little sad and you just don’t smile like you used to. I’m talking the total dark cloud that drags you so far down you literally cannot function. My heart goes out to this poor girl and her family because when you’re that depressed, you really feel like there is no way out and there is no hope in sight. When I was 14, I developed severe depression – I was not bullied, I played sports, I had a lot of friends, but when depression hit without reason, I went from straight A’s to barely passing, I missed school 2 days a week, I only went outside late at night because I didn’t want to see anyone, I never went anywhere with my friends, I would cry uncontrollably, it took all my strength just to go to school, and most times I’d lock myself in the bathroom and cry. I felt like I was stuck in the dark corridor with no escape. After 2 years of living like this, I attempted suicide. I obviously survived, entered treatment, and recovered – while I’ve had bouts of depression since then, NOTHING, and I mean absolutely nothing, compares to that feeling of utter despair I felt as a teen, even after several family deaths. The agony that this poor girl must have been in is heart wrenching – it’s a terrible, terrible feeling to have. I wish all the best for her family.
John Casy May 26, 2011 at 01:54 PM
49 million $$ for a net bacause of jumpers. Save the money and help the poor in this country. If the net is install then these head cases will find another way to kill them selves.
Lauren Edwards May 26, 2011 at 04:00 PM
You all might be interested in this perspective by teen blogger Justin McClean, who has made a study of bullying -- unfortunately through his own life experience but also in his rise to leadership as part of an excellent organization called Youth to Youth. http://patch.com/B-fDC
Traci Cross May 26, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Hi Lauren I was just about to direct the posters to Justin's blog tas well. I am so thankful for you choosing him to blog..he loves to write and is quite good at it! Thx!
Leah Hall May 26, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Thank you, Lauren. Justin's article is really well written. This is what I wrote in the comments section: -- I agree with the other posters, finely said. Your article reminds me of a series of events held earlier this year at my church in honor of Black History Month. One of the things our church did was invite Horace Griffin, an amazing speaker, writer and openly gay theologian to speak and take questions about his book "Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches." He also shares a very touching and personal story about nearly taking his own life and his own path towards recovery, redemption and advocacy. I highly recommend his book and perhaps even interviewing him for a future article. His work is groundbreaking and exceptionally insightful on the ways we demonize others and how to confront complex forms of oppression and bullying. Thank you for your own contributions to this subject. -- Horace L. Griffin is on the Department Faculty at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkleley.
sandra dawson May 26, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Why did no one actually see her jump from the bridge? Are we sure she did jump?
juli andra May 26, 2011 at 10:29 PM
They haven't found her and it doesn't make sense to "lock" your bike if you're going to jump off a bridge. My question is what cars were seen driving in either direction after she was seen walking onto the bridge?
TruthOverDare May 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Facebook knows before anyone else does when someone is at risk for hurting themselves or others. Facebook has the ability to profile people in real time. The technology already exists. It is the same technology they use to display a targetted ad. Facebook should be required to inform parents of minors when it detects that they may be a threat to themselves. Similarly, they should be required to report to the authorities when someone is a risk to the public. Now now...before you all yell "Privacy violation!!", would you be ok with it if it saves just one life? What if that life is of someone you care about? Maybe your son, daughter, best friend, ....., PLUS they already collect this information on you. Might as well use it for a good cause.
Roxanna May 27, 2011 at 08:19 AM
I am still hopful that she will be found alive. I don't understand how someone on the bridge didn't see her jump. There are ALWAYS people on the bridge and driving across the bridge, how could she have jumped around 10am without being seen? I hope the authorities begin to look elsewhere, in new directions if her body doesn't turn up. I think after she walked onto the bridge, she may have got in a car with someone - perhaps all planned out. I don't know why she would have locked her bike up. If you don't care about yourself, or what suicide does to a family, I don't see how you would care about your bike. I hope, one way or another, she is found. They haven't found a body yet and I would think, by now they would have IF she jumped. I hope where ever she is, she's not hurting. Until her body is found, I'm going to hope for the best - that she's still alive - and made a choice for a different life.
24/7 Modern Mom May 27, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Being a parent is hard. I hope this girl's parents will survive this awful time with a continued will to live and confidence that this is not their "fault." I hope they will know some sort of "modified" peace in the future. I'm sure there is nothing that can make this ok, but perhaps - at least ok, for them to go on, someday.

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