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Shell Beach death ruled suicide

The death of the man found in the tide pools off Shell Beach on Monday has been ruled a suicide, the county Sheriff-Coroner’s Department said Wednesday.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday afternoon.

His death was originally ruled suspicious, according to the Pismo Beach Police Department, because the body had signs of trauma that were deemed non-environmental.

However, the autopsy later determined that those signs were unrelated to the incident, police said.

Authorities on Wednesday were still withholding the name of the man, who is described as Hispanic, in his late 30s to 40s and weighing close to 300 pounds.

The Tribune is filing a request with authorities for the name under the California Public Records Act. It is The Tribune’s policy to withhold the names of suicide victims unless their death occurred in a public place.

Under state law, a victim’s name is public information except in rare cases, such as if the crime is one of sexual assault, child abuse, spousal violence or a hate crime.

His name will also be on the death certificate, slated for release next week, officials with the Sheriff’s Department said.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the relatives of this man,” Tribune Managing Editor Tad Weber said. “We will continue to seek his identification, however, because we don’t believe the authorities have the legal justification to withhold what is public information.”

The man was discovered with only shoes on about noon by a construction worker who notified police of the body.

Police said Monday that his wallet and shorts were found among the rocks below Vista Del Mar Avenue, an area about 400 yards south of where the body was found at the end of Park Place.

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