The body recovered from the ocean in the area of milepost marker 3.89 South Highway 1, Gualala has been identified as that of Stephen Clark Pease, 57, from Roseville, Calif., according to press releases from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The body was discovered by recreational divers and retrieved by law enforcement officers on Nov. 23, 2013 and later identified through the serial number on a hip implant. Classification of the death of Stephen Clark Pease is still undetermined, and the rented silver 2014 Chevrolet Captiva with Oregon license plate 500GKN, which Mr. Pease was known to be driving, has yet to be located. Read the original press release and two updates below.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
On 11.23.13, at approximately 1230 hours, recreational divers were swimming in the Pacific Ocean near the shore in the area of milepost marker 3.89 South Highway 1, Gualala, when they located the floating body of a deceased person.
The divers called the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The Sonoma County Sheriff Helicopter (Henry 1), members of the South Coast Volunteer Fire Department, a California Highway Patrol Officer, and a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden also responded to assist with the recovery of the decedent.
The warden donned a wetsuit and swam out to the decedent and pulled him to the shore. Due to the height and steepness of the cliff it was not possible to carry the decedent up to the roadway. A Sonoma County Deputy Sheriff and a South Coast Firefighter were suspended under the helicopter and lowered to the decedent. They were able to place the decedent's remains in a litter and they were moved to an open field near the roadway with the helicopter.
The male decedent appears to have been in the water for more than a few days and no identification was located. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is investigating the identity of the decedent at this time.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office wishes to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Highway Patrol, and South Coast Fire Department.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE 1:
On 11-26-13 a forensic autopsy was conducted on the decedent and during the examination the decedent was found to have hip replacement implants.
A check of the serial numbers on the implants confirmed the decedent as being Stephen Clark Pease who had been reported missing to the Roseville Police Department on 10-31-13.
The Roseville Police Department missing person‚s investigation determined Pease had checked out of a Fort Bragg area motel on 11-03-13, which was approximately 50-60 miles from where his body was recovered.
Pease was last known to be driving a rented silver 2014 Chevrolet Captiva with Oregon license plate 500GKN and at this time the vehicle's whereabouts are unknown.
The coroner's investigation is ongoing into the cause of Pease's death.
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE 2:
On 01-15-2014 the Mendocino County Chief Deputy Coroner classified the death of Stephen Clark Pease as being Undetermined due to undetermined causes.
The rented silver 2014 Chevrolet Captiva with Oregon license plate 500GKN has yet to be located even after a land and aerial search of the area where Pease was found.