Banh died Sunday morning in Grayland after she and her 8-year-old daughter left their Renton home around 4 a.m. for a fishing trip.
It’s not uncommon for people to surf fish off the coast, wading knee or waist deep in the water. But for Banh, 36, doing something like this was pretty risky.
“During the course of the investigation our deputies learned from her family members that she did not know how to swim and that they were uncomfortable with her going down there by herself to go fishing without another person nearby,” said Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock with the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say Banh wore neoprene waders but left her life jacket behind. She told her daughter to stay in the car and never came back.
“The daughter had lost track of her after a little while and went to go look for her. She didn’t see her so she came back to the car. Shortly thereafter two people on the beach were walking and located what they thought was a log in the surf near the sand line. It turned out to be the mother,” said Matlock.
When police got to the beach, they found the little girl in the car. The tide was coming in and starting to submerge the tires. At this point, investigators do not believe foul play was a factor.
“Everything points to the fact that it was a tragic accident along our coastal waterway and it’s very unfortunate,” said Matlock.
CPS had custody of the little girl Sunday night but today she is back with relatives. Banh was from Vietnam and worked at a local casino according to her Facebook page.