SANTA BARBARA (CBS/AP) — Santa Barbara coroners have identified a woman whose body was found in the ocean not far from an abandoned kayak.

Authorities said 20-year-old Kayla Hallee of Mission Viejo was found near Tajiguas Beach, about 20 miles north of Santa Barbara on Tuesday.

Her body was found within a mile of a weathered, orange kayak.

Coroners were investigating whether there is a connection between Hallee and the kayak.

CBS2’s Stacey Butler spoke to Hallee’s mother on Thursday.

“It seems unreal, I keep expecting her to walk through the door,” said Denise Hallee.

The death is not considered suspicious but detectives still have not figured out who the kayak belonged to.

Hallee’s mom says it will always bother her not knowing exactly what happened to her daughter.

“I don’t know that I will ever know,” said Hallee, “I have to make peace with that.”

Hallee remembers her daughter as a free spirit who loved the outdoors.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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