Senior Alert issued for missing Virginia Beach woman; Family concerned for her safety due to language barrier

Shu-jin Wu
Shu Jin Wu.jpg
Posted at 1:35 PM, Feb 17, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Senior Alert was issued Wednesday for a missing Virginia Beach woman who does not speak English.

The Virginia Beach Police Department is searching for Shu-jin Wu, who was reported missing Tuesday morning by a family member. She was last seen at her residence in the 1500 block of Gallery Avenue. As of Friday, she had still not been found and a search party is planning to gather Saturday morning.

Wu speaks Mandarin and goes by "Nai Nai" which means "grandma."

Wu does not drive a vehicle and is expected to be on foot. She is described as a 76-year-old female who is 5'2", 100 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a red sleeveless vest with a gray sweatshirt and possibly black pants.

Officers are canvassing the area using police K9s and a helicopter, and a Senior Alert was issued for Wu. On Wednesday morning, Tidewater Search and Rescue initiated a response and had about 40 volunteers participating in search efforts.

Randy Brauner does not know the missing woman but said he knows his way around the woods and wanted to help. He's been searching for several days.

"I’ve probably got about eight hours or so in these woods and all these surrounding areas even across Culver road this morning, I was looking. I did find some tracks that could have been hers," said Brauner. She’s not in these woods right here, because I’ve looked quite extensively," he explained while pointing to the woods not far from her home near Dunwoody Park.

A reverse 911 call was also issued to alert the residents of surrounding neighborhoods to be on the lookout for Wu. Volunteers are asking for anyone businesses or individuals in the area to check surveillance cameras.

"Anything like that could be helpful. Business with CCTV along Dam Neck or General Booth," said volunteer Donald Hedrick who said he and his family searched nearby Red Wing Park.

Detective Caleb Davey with the Virginia Beach Police Department said they're looking at multiple leads including ones from Chesapeake and Norfolk. He also said the surveillance video can be very helpful.

“Nothing stopped. We did have a place where, today, we had to kind of gather the information to figure out the tasks, but again, we haven’t stopped," stated Detective Davey. I’ve been out multiple times to different locations to try and track down a different lead."

A search party is gathering at the Beach Fellowship Church at 1817 General Booth Boulevard on Saturday, February 20, starting at 9:30 a.m. Detective Davey encourages volunteers but warns they need to dress for the cold and the mud.

If you or someone you know has information on Wu's whereabouts, call the Virginia Beach Police Department at (757) 385-5000 or the Virgina Beach Police Department Detective Bureauat (757) 385-4101.

Stay with News 3 for updates.