JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A body pulled from the surf Wednesday morning by a Jacksonville Beach paddleboarder has been identified as a 19-year-old swimmer who went missing in the ocean south of the Jacksonville Beach pier Sunday evening.
Curtis Newkirk Jr. was swimming with a group Sunday when some of them became distressed, lifeguards said. Everyone else made it to the shore, but Newkirk was nowhere to be found.
A search for Newkirk was unsuccessful until the paddleboarder made the grisly discovery around 10:30 a.m. about 10 blocks north of the Jacksonville Beach Pier.
Police said the paddleboarder found the body, later identified as Newkirk, floating about 100 yards offshore and pulled it to shore.
The Medical Examiner’s Office later confirmed it was Newkirk, and police announced the identification Friday morning.