Coroner: UCR student likely died of saltwater drowning

A college student whose body was found floating in Newport Harbor's Rhine Channel appears to have drowned, according to autopsy information posted Monday by the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner.

The body of Alan Sun-Long Lin, 22, of Irvine, was found about 7:15 a.m. Sunday just south of Lido Park Drive by local residents, Newport Beach Police Sgt. Steve Burdette said.

Lin's body, which was spotted near the Bluewater Grill, looked like it had been in the water for some time.

Investigators don't believe that foul play was involved because no marks or bruises were found on the corpse, Burdette said.

A spokesperson for the coroner confirmed that the cause of death was believed to be by saltwater drowning, but results from a toxicology report were pending.

Lin would have turned 23 on Feb. 26, according to the coroner.

Lin, a mechanical engineering student at UC Riverside, was last seen leaving Rudy's Pub and Grill, 3110 Newport Blvd., about 1 a.m. Feb. 5. He was seen leaving the restaurant alone and was later reported missing by his family.

On Monday, UCR officials released a statement confirming Lin's death.

Lin, a senior, had been taking classes at UCR since fall 2006. He was on track to graduate this spring, according to the news release.

"This is a tragedy and our hearts go out to his family," UCR Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jim Sandoval said in a prepared statement. "We will be working with the family to provide anything we can for their comfort."

Lin's family has yet to announce funeral service details, the release said, noting that Lin's name would be among those remembered at the campus' annual memorial service in May for members of the UCR community who have died.

Newport Beach police are seeking witnesses, Burdette said.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Det. Scott Smith at (800) 550-6273.

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