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Body washed ashore in Pismo Beach identified as missing pier jumper

Sheriff’s investigators work at the location where the body of Marco Antonio Reyes Jr. washed up on Pismo Beach on Monday.
Sheriff’s investigators work at the location where the body of Marco Antonio Reyes Jr. washed up on Pismo Beach on Monday.

Officials on Tuesday identified the body of the man found washed ashore south of Pismo Beach as that of the reported pier jumper who went missing in March.

Marco Antonio Reyes Jr., 28, of Tulare was the man found Monday afternoon on a stretch of beach about a mile south of the Pismo Beach Pier, near the Grand Avenue beach entrance in Grover Beach, said Detective Sgt. Bryan Cox of the Pismo Beach Police Department.

Reyes had been missing since March 19 after reportedly jumping off the pier at about 9:50 p.m. Witnesses told Pismo Beach police that Reyes appeared to be swimming normally after his jump, but then began calling for help before disappearing. By the time officials reached the pier with the necessary rescue resources, Reyes was nowhere to be found, Cox said.

Officials were able to identify Reyes based on the clothing he was wearing the night he disappeared, along with jewelry and a few “very distinct” tattoos, Cox said.

Reyes’ death has been ruled accidental because of his cries for help, Cox said. The possible cause of death was drowning, Cox said, as witnesses said they saw Reyes go under the water.

No official cause of death has been established pending an autopsy Wednesday.

Jumping from the Pismo Beach Pier is illegal, Cox said, but fun-seekers and surfers sometimes make the leap. Most jumpers are able to swim or surf safely back to shore, but citations are issued when the act is reported.

Reyes allegedly jumped from the third diamond of the pier, about three quarters of the way down the 1,200-foot platform, Cox said.

The U.S. Coast Guard had been searching for Reyes, but Cox said they called off their search on March 20, saying Reyes had a minimal chance of surviving in the water after more than about 2 1/2 hours.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Cipolla talks about the discovery of a body that washed ashore south of the Pismo Pier on Monday, April 25, 2016.

Staff writer Matt Fountain contributed to this report

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