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Unidentified body found floating 50 yards offshore

11 Jun

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Orange County authorities are seeking the public’s help identifying a man whose body was found floating in the ocean just off Bolsa Chica State Beach on Saturday morning.

The body, believed to be that of a man between 20 and 30 years old, was discovered without any identification, and no missing-persons report matching the man’s description had been filed with local police agencies as of Saturday night, said Allison O’Neal, supervising deputy coroner for the county coroner’s office.

“We’ve got the word out there to all the surrounding police agencies,” O’Neal said Saturday night. “We hope we can identify him and find his family.”

Surfers discovered the body about 50 yards from the shoreline in Huntington Beach sometime before 9:50 a.m. Emergency responders attempted CPR and transported him to Huntington Beach Hospital, but he likely was already deceased, O’Neal said.

The man was pronounced dead at 9:50 a.m. Saturday at the hospital, she said.

O’Neal said initial autopsy findings indicate he died no more than four to six hours prior to the body’s discovery.

After the body was discovered, state beach officials found unclaimed items on the beach that likely belonged to the man, including a pair of jeans, a jacket, shoes, socks, a white towel that may have come from a hotel, and an unknown amount of cash, O’Neal said.

No wallet or identifying information was found on the beach, but officials retrieved a cellphone with a dead battery, O’Neal said.

Investigators determined the phone is registered to a Wilfredo Escobar, O’Neal said, although she emphasized that may not be the man who died.

O’Neal said officials were working to find a charger for the cellphone – a Tracfone – so they could retrieve additional information from it.

The body was found about 500 yards downstream from where the beach items were found, O’Neal said.

“Right now, we’re thinking he was on foot from an area hotel or motel,” O’Neal said.

The man was found wearing a dark blue T-shirt with the words “Caribbean Joe 2001 Let Go.” He also was wearing underwear briefs, but no swim gear, O’Neal said.

He is described as 6 feet tall, 185 pounds, between 20 and 30 years old, with brown eyes and wavy brown hair. He has a darker complexion and is possibly Latino, O’Neal said.

O’Neal said the body has no identifying markers on it, such as scars or tattoos.

There was no evidence of foul play, O’Neal said. A full autopsy was being planned for early next week.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Orange County coroner’s 24-hour hotline at 714-647-7411.

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