Detectives still seeking help identifying dead man

Sheriff’s detectives are still seeking help identifying a man found dead just offshore of Ballast Key this week. They are hoping someone will recognize a drawing of the large tattoo the man had on his upper left arm.

A passing boater spotted the body and called the Coast Guard Monday evening.

The body was floating about 100 yards offshore of Ballast Key in about 5 – 6 feet of water.

The Coast Guard responded and recovered the body from the water, bringing it back to the Coast Guard base in Key West.

An autopsy performed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office showed no obvious signs of foul play, said Detective Manny Cuervo who is the lead investigator assigned to the case.

Detective Cuervo says the man had no clothing on, and no identification. So far, the detective has found no missing persons reports that fit the man’s description.

The autopsy refined the descriptors released earlier in the week. The dead man is a white male, between 20 and 30 years of age. He is about 6 feet tall and slim, weighing perhaps 140  pounds. He has brown hair with some sun bleaching. The hair is cut very short – in a crew cut type style. He had several days worth of thin beard growth on his face, and had been in the water a short time – two days at the most, according to the detective.

The man had what Detective Cuervo describes as a “tribal” type tattoo on his upper left arm.

Anyone who has any information which might help identify this man should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-289-2351. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be submitted on line at

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