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Body found in cave in California may be diver who vanished in 2020

FOX 23 Tulsa KOKI
 2022-11-15
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A body was found in a cave in Southern California earlier this month and officials think it may be a diver who vanished in 2020.

According to a news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, a pair of recreational divers notified SBCSO about possible human remains near the ocean floor in an underwater cave on Santa Cruz Island. SBCSO’s Underwater Search and Recovery Team worked to conduct a recovery operation in the area and sought assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office’s Marine Enforcement Unit, and the National Park Service.

SBCSO said about a week later on Nov. 11, divers from other agencies and SBCSO went out to the Seal Cove area where they were able to recover the remains successfully.

The remains have been taken to the SBCSO’s Coroner’s Bureau for further investigation, according to SBCSO.

According to The Associated Press, investigators with the coroner’s office will be using rapid DNA testing to confirm the identity of the human remains.

SBCSO expects to complete the identification process sometime next week. SBCSO said they will share the identification when the process is complete and the next of kin has been notified.

According to the AP, Ryder Sturt, 34, was reportedly lobster diving with a partner on Nov. 29, 2020, in the Painted Cave Preserve area and officials have said he never resurfaced.

No further information has been released.

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