- (Photo: Reuters/Francisco Bonilla)
Officials in San Diego, Calif. are investigating the mysterious death of a man found nude and covered in shark bites after his body was found off the coast of Tourmaline Surf Park.
The 42-year-old man was reported missing on Wednesday night; his fiancé told police that he had gone surfing but had not returned home. His body was found early Thursday morning, stripped and covered in shark bites, leaving officials confused and curious as to the cause of the man's death.
"The thought is the person drowned in the waters off PB and then some time after that event, was the shark attack incident," San Diego Lifeguards Lt. John Everhart told NBC. "That someone would take their wet suit off while they're out at sea, and then tie it around their surf board and then disappear – I've never seen anything like it."
Most surfers do not take their wetsuits off until they are safely on shore and have warm clothing nearby.
"I don't know. It doesn't make any sense; you don't take your wetsuit off in the water," surfer Sarah Goltz said.
One thought is that the man may have taken his own life. Officials said that there were no signs of struggle or damage to the surfboard or wetsuit. The man's body was found floating in shallow water close to the shore, while his board was found nearly 250 yards from the shore.
"He was really, really far out there," Tommy Calagna told NBC. "Like double the distance of where the other surfers were at the time."
"He was having a rough time paddling out there because it was choppy and windy, but no indication he was out there to take his own life," Neil Ratnavira added.
Both men saw the unnamed victim the night he reportedly died but left before he came back in from the water. Police have not released the man's name, given the conditions he was found in. An autopsy is scheduled for today.