A little after 6:00 Tuesday morning, a volunteer out on his regular turtle nest patrol discovered the body of a white male lying face down near the Holden Beach Pier, partially buried by sand.
A couple walking nearby said their morning changed in an instant. They asked us to conceal their identity, but said, “The turtle patrol was standing there with a dead body. At first I thought it might be a shark or a beached something that died, we started looking closer and it was a human body.”
Police were called out to the scene and found a middle-aged man with blood on his face and legs.
The witnesses added, “We walked out on to the pier and they had flipped the body over and you definitely saw something had struck a blow to his forehead.”
Police said the body could have been there since high tide late last night, or early this morning. So far, they’ve only been able to determine that he was visiting Holden Beach from Ohio.
Investigators said the missing piece to this case is determining how the body actually got here. Until they do, they say they have very little to go on.
“I’m not ruling anything out at this point. It’s an un-witnessed death investigation and until we have all the facts, I’m not ruling anything out,” said Holden Beach Police Chief Wally Layne.
Police are trying to connect the dots by scanning the beach for clues and using a metal detector to either find his belongings, or possibly a weapon.
Police aren’t releasing the victim’s name until his family has been notified.
The body was moved to the morgue in Brunswick County and will be transported to Jacksonville Wednesday for an autopsy.