New rendering released of possible homicide victim found in Newport Beach 9 years ago

This artist's rendering of a possible homicide victim found in December 2013 was released Tuesday.
This artist’s rendering of a possible homicide victim found in December 2013 is based on new information acquired through advanced DNA analysis, and was released to the public Tuesday.
(Courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

Investigators seeking the identity of a possible homicide victim found nine years ago in Newport Beach learned he was of Chinese descent and released an artist’s rendering of his face Tuesday, hoping someone might recognize him.

The man was found by fishermen in waters about a mile from the coast on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2013, Orange County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Steinle said. He was wearing a black, medium-sized Champion brand sweatshirt, size 11 Asics running shoes and a Timex watch.

“Due to the condition of the body, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating this as a homicide,” Steinle said.

The state the man was found in also made it difficult to determine his ethnicity, Steinle said. Investigators initially thought he might have been white or Latino.

But in 2021, a sample from one of his bones was submitted for advanced DNA analysis, OCSD officials said in a news release. That revealed that he was primarily of Chinese descent.

Based on that information, a new rendering of his face was created and has been distributed to the public. He is depicted grinning with brown, almond eyes, furrowed by his smiling expression. He had lightly tanned skin, short dark hair and a somewhat slim build in the image released on Tuesday.

Orange County Sheriff’s officials hope someone might recognize the man so they can learn who he was and notify his loved ones. Anyone who might be able to help investigators should call the department’s homicide bureau at (714) 647-7055 or send an email to Tips can also be submitted anonymously with Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227 or

Authorities declined Tuesday to discuss the victim’s cause of death.

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