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San Diego County Medical Examiner Seeks Public’s Help in John Doe Case-Updated

Update: The body found in the ocean near Sunset Cliffs has been identified by the San Diego County Coroners Office as Martin Paul McDermott, 38. Cause and time of death is still unknown.


San Diego County CA—(CNC) The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office is asking the public for help identifying a man whose body was found floating in the ocean Feb. 7. He had several distinctive tattoos, including an intricate and colorful tattoo on the shoulder.

A helicopter crew spotted the body off Sunset Cliffs and notified San Diego lifeguards, who recovered the man’s body. Medical Examiner investigators believe his body may have been in the water between two and seven days.

Despite extensive efforts, investigators have not yet been able to identify him and are now seeking help from the public, in hopes someone may recognize the tattoos, which have been sketched by a forensic artist.

The most distinctive tattoo is on the man’s left upper arm and shoulder and appears to be the Hindu god Ganesha, playing either a sitar or a guitar. He has another tattoo on his left forearm with red Greek letters that may be the name of a club or group. A faded tattoo was also located on his right ankle that looks like either a five pointed black star or crossed bones.

Due to the condition of the body, investigators cannot discern his hair or eye color. He is believed to have been between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. He is about 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighed an estimated 180 to 200 pounds. The cause of death has not been determined, and investigators hope learning his identity will assist in the case.

Anyone who believes they may know the identity of the man is asked to contact the Medical Examiner’s Office at (858) 694-2895. The case number is 16-00352.