Sheriff’s Major Crimes detectives are still investigating the death of a man offshore of Key West. His body was discovered on board a sailboat this morning by a nearby live-aboard boater.
The man who called to report the body said he’d heard a dog barking continuously from a nearby sailboat. He decided to go check on the dog and, when he did, he saw a hand on the deck of the boat. He took the dog – a one and a half year old Pit Bull - with him and called the Coast Guard to report the possible presence of a dead body.
The Coast Guard in turn called the Sheriff’s Office. Detectives responded to the sailboat with the help of the Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Their investigations on the scene revealed a white male, 39 years old, with no obvious signs of trauma that would indicate foul play. The body was badly decomposed. Detectives say their investigation indicated he was last seen alive on Saturday.
A syringe was found near his body with a liquid substance inside. His hand was missing, and was found outside on the deck where the dog was located. It appears from bite marks on the hand the dog may have pulled the hand off of the body after the man died.
The Medical Examiner responded to the scene and took custody of the body. He will be performing an autopsy to determine the cause of the man’s death. The man’s name is being withheld until next of kin can be notified.