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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 10:19 am | Fair 58º


Body of 60-Year-Old Man Recovered at Leadbetter Beach

Santa Barbara police say there are 'no obvious signs of foul play,' but the investigation is continuing

Santa Barbara police are investigating after a body was found Thursday morning at Leadbetter Beach. The body initially was reported to be that of a woman, but authorities now confirm it was a 60-year-old man.

Sgt. Riley Harwood, a department spokesman, said a Mesa resident called 9-1-1 at 6:29 a.m. Thursday. A body had been discovered at the bottom of the steps at 1200 Shoreline Drive, and the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office was called in, according to Harwood.

Police were on the scene investigating for several hours Thursday morning.

The body had originally been identified as a 30-year-old female, but given the conditions, Harwood said it quite easily could have been mistaken by the reporting party.

Harwood said police have tentatively identified the person, and the Coroner’s Office and police officers are working to contact his next of kin.

“The body was obviously affected by conditions there, with the sand and the waves, but there are no obvious signs of foul play,” he said, adding that they won’t be able to rule that out until the investigation is complete.

Law enforcement are still trying to confirm the man’s hometown, and Harwood said police believe the man had local ties.

Santa Barbara City College student Gabriella Slabiak, former news editor for The Channels, saw the body early Thursday morning.

“I was taking my morning power walk along Shoreline Drive, and saw a cop’s car and two people standing and looking over the fence,” she said, adding that the body looked as if it had washed up on shore, with one arm under the sand. “I was so shocked ... but what I remember is the body was dressed in clothes; it wasn’t a swimsuit or naked. I kept walking after, I was pretty much in shock — it’s not really what you expect to see.”

Check back with Noozhawk for updates.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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