A day before a mother and daughter were found dead in the sea, the distraught woman allegedly confided she would defy a court order giving custody of the girl to her father.

The bodies of Marcia Harrigan, 43, and her 7-year-old daughter Gillian were pulled from the surf off San Simeon last week.

The Hermosa Beach woman telephoned her former lawyer the previous day saying she was upset that a judge ordered her to immediately turn over Gillian to the child's father Glenn Goldman.

Attorney Jeffrey Doeringer said Monday that Harrigan "was very distraught and told me she didn't think she'd comply with it."

"I said, 'I can't advise you to do that. That would be a felony.' The implication was 'goodbye,'" the Huntington Beach lawyer said.

Harrigan, who called Doeringer just to talk, told him "things were going south, real fast." Doeringer had represented Harrigan in a 1993 custody battle involving two other daughters.

A telephone listing for Goldman couldn't be found.

San Luis Obispo County sheriff's detectives have described the deaths as suspicious. Sheriff's spokesman Rob Bryn said Monday there was no new information in the case.

Autopsies were planned for Wednesday.

When the bodies were discovered in the surf Jan. 10, firefighters on the scene said they suspected the two were swept off rocks by a rogue wave.