Coroner ID's Body Found on Santa Monica Beach

A passerby found the man in the sand about 5:30 a.m., south of the Santa Monica Pier.

The earliest version of this story was published at 7:17 a.m. June 5, 2012.

The body that washed ashore Tuesday morning on the beach in Santa Monica was that of a 49-year-old homeless man, authorities said.

The grim discovery was made about 5:30 a.m. south of the , not far from Venice, in the area of Nielsen Way and Marine Street by a passerby who flagged down a Santa Monica parking enforcement officer.

The coroner identified the man Wednesday morning as Paul William Nolder.

It was not immediately known where Nolder was living. He was arrested twice about two decades ago by Santa Monica police, said Sgt. Richard Lewis.

"He has been off our radar for many years," he said.

Lewis said investigators were not sure if Nolder died elsewhere, his body floating to the shoreline, or if he might have collapsed while wading in the water not far from where the body was discovered. If the body did float, it would have come from the south, according to tidal maps, he said.

"There are no immediate signs of foul play," he said.

The body was found by harbor patrol officers face down, partially buried in sand on the water's edge. Nolder was wearing a cycling jersey or rash guard and board shorts, according to Lewis.

"The body has not been in the water that long," he said. "This happens once or twice a year, it's not often, but it’s routine."

An autopsy will be conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner.

A section of the beach was closed for about two hours Tuesday morning while police investigated.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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— City News Service contributed to this report.


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