The Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office has identified the body of a man who was found in a tidal pool near Guadalupe Dunes Park at 7:45 Friday morning. The victim is 46-year-old Benito Flores of Santa Maria, who had been missing since March 30th. Flores, along with two other people, was swept into the ocean during strong riptide conditions at the end of a baptism.
The other two people made it back to shore but Flores could not make it back. A hiker who was in the Mussel Rock or Mussel Point area found the body in a shallow, tidal pool area approximately two and a half miles from where Flores was last seen. The cause and manner of death is under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office.