Public's help sought to identify man found floating off Newport Beach

Investigators release facial drawing of man found floating off Newport Beach in 2013

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department released a facial reconstruction drawing of a man Thursday whose body was discovered floating off the Newport Beach coastline two years ago in an effort to get the public’s help in identifying him.

The man may have suffered head trauma and had been weighted down with a 35-pound iron dumbbell.  

His body was spotted floating about a mile off the Crystal Cove shoreline on Dec. 24, 2013, by a commercial fisherman.

Sheriff's Lt. Jeffrey Hallock said investigators believe the man may have been dead for several weeks based on the condition of his body.

“It was in pretty poor shape," he said.

Detectives are investigating the case as a homicide, but have not ruled out suicide.

At the time of the discovery, the man was wearing dark colored Champion nylon sweat pants with zippered legs, size 11 black Asics running shoes and a black Timex watch with a black plastic band.

Orange County coroner's officials have not determined the man’s age, but believe he was older than 30, perhaps as old as 50. He is described as 5 feet 9, 165 pounds with dark hair.  

This is not the first time a dead body has been discovered in an area known for its affluent neighborhoods and picturesque scenery.

In 1989, a woman who was strangled was discovered just north of Crystal Cove State Park. Her body was discovered on the side of Pacific Coast Highway. Detectives at the time said they believed her body was dumped from a passing car.

In September 2006, Rachael Mullenix and her ex-boyfriend Ian W. Allen were accused of murdering her 56-year-old mother and dumping her body into the Newport Harbor.

Hallock said while such cases are not common in the region, they do occur.

"We’re no different than other beaches along the coast,”  Hallock said.

Anyone who may be able to identify the man in the sketch is asked to contact Orange County investigators at (714)  647-7000. Anonymous tips can be made by dialing Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227.

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