Sheriff’s helicopter retrieves body below Bodega Head
By MARY CALLAHAN / The Press Democrat
A Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter crew headed out to Bodega Head early Wednesday and recovered human remains spotted Tuesday night in the surf at the base of a steep, 250-foot cliff, authorities said.
Tourists hiking in the area reported finding the remains around 7:20 p.m., and it was determined authorities would wait until daylight to attempt to retrieve them, sheriff’s officials said. A sheriff’s deputy was posted in the area through the night, authorities said.
Detectives are now conducting a death investigation, sheriff’s Capt. Matt McAffrey said.
Lt. Dennis O’Leary, who oversees department investigations, said he expected the rescue crew would send someone down to the water via longline from the helicopter to retrieve the remains, which would then be subject to investigation to determine the identity and whether there were any signs of foul play.
Authorities earlier said it appeared the remains had been in the water for some time, and there was speculation it could be one of four crew members lost at sea when a yacht called Low Speed Chase capsized during an April 14 race out to the Farallon Islands.
O’Leary said his department already has received numerous inquiries about any linkage between the yachting accident and the remains found Tuesday night, but “obviously, it’s way too early” to say, he said.