Del Norte County Sheriff’s investigators say a man found dead on the beach in Smith River was a homicide victim.

“After the post-mortem examination, we are officially investigating the case as a homicide,” said Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Steven concerning the Dec. 29 discovery of a male adult’s body.

The body was discovered by a female jogger at about 10 a.m. on the beach just west of the cemetery.

Steven could give no further details about the investigation, aside from saying the decedent was a white male adult in his 50s. Steven said investigators had previously been undecided as to whether the death was natural or suspicious.

“We have not firmly identified him yet,” Steven said.

Sheriff’s officials have had some information about the possible identity, but have held off making the announcement until confirmed by the state Department of Justice. Steven said fingerprint confirmation has not yet come back from the DOJ lab in Sacramento.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff’s dispatch at 707-464-4191.

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