Corrections and Clarifications: An earlier version of this article stated a different age and residence for Ryder Sturt. The Santa Barbara sheriff’s office said Sturt was 31 and from Ventura.
A body found in an underwater cave this month may be that of a diver who disappeared nearly two years ago, authorities in Southern California said Monday.
The body was recovered near Painted Cave Preserve on Santa Cruz Island, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. After two recreational divers reported seeing a possible body close to the ocean floor on Nov. 5, Sheriff’s Office officials, along with rescue divers from other agencies, recovered the remains on Friday.
While the “location of the recovery matches a 2020 missing diver investigation,” the sheriff’s office said, the body has not been identified.
The examination of an angle will determine the identity. The sheriff’s office said the body was taken to the coroner’s office, which expects to complete identity confirmation next week using rapid TBEN testing.
Watch:Tiger shark dubbed ‘Queen Nikki’ launches into diver’s webbed feet just before the sharks swim
Mystery solved? Human remains found in vehicle submerged for 39 years, Alabama police say
The diver who disappeared near Painted Cave Preserve in 2020 was identified as Ryder Sturt, 31, of Ventura, California, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the US TODAY. According to authorities, Sturt was reportedly diving for lobster with a partner on November 29, 2020.
His partner surfaced, but Sturt did not, authorities said at the time, and the dive partner radioed for help, prompting a search of the area.
For this month’s salvage operation, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit and the National Park Service for assistance, according to Monday’s press release.
What is everyone talking about? Sign up for our trending newsletter to receive the latest news of the day
The sheriff’s office said it would release the diver’s identity after the coroner’s office confirms it and next of kin are notified.
Contributions: The The Bharat Express News; Gretchen Wenner, Ventura County Star.