john_doe_tattoos
A forensic artist has sketched the colorful intricate tattoo located on the unidentified man’s upper left arm and shoulder as well as the Greek letters tattoo located on the man’s left forearm. Sketches courtesy of County News Center

Authorities sought the public’s help Friday to identify a heavily tattooed man whose naked and partially decomposed body was found floating off the coast of Sunset Cliffs last weekend.

A helicopter crew spotted the body about three-quarters of a mile from the foot of Osprey Street late Sunday morning. Lifeguards who initially retrieved the body said there were no visible of trauma.

Although the body was partially decomposed, a forensic artist was able to recreate sketches of two distinctive tattoos. One, covering the man’s left upper arm and shoulder, appeared to be the Hindu god Ganesha playing either a sitar or a guitar. Red Greek letters that may spell out the name of a club or group lined his left forearm, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

The man also had a tattoo on his right ankle that resembled a faded five- pointed black star or crossed bones.

The medical examiner’s office said the body was likely in the water for two days to a week before being found. Investigators have yet to identify the man, and cannot determine his hair or eye color because of the condition of the body.

Hewas believed to have been between 18 and 40 years old, 6-foot-1 and 180 to 200 pounds.

Anyone with information that could possibly help identify the man was asked to call the medical examiner’s office at (858) 694-2895.

—City News Service