A dead body was found Sunday morning on the beach just steps from Las Olas and A1A, Fort Lauderdale’s most famous intersection.
Curious onlookers watched police collect evidence behind crime scene tape after paramedics covered the body with a sheet.
A person walking by called 911 around 9 a.m. after spotting the body by the tourist-friendly wave wall just north of Las Olas Boulevard, said Commissioner Steve Glassman, whose district includes the beach.
The man who died was homeless and well known to police, Glassman said.
Paramedics responded to a call at 9:06 a.m. and found a man lying unconscious in the sand, said Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.
“The individual had rigor mortis and was pronounced deceased,” Gollan said. “The scene was turned over to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for further investigation.”
Police officials did not release the man’s name or age Sunday.
“I can confirm a deceased adult male was located and there is no foul play suspected at this time,” Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw said.
An autopsy will be done to confirm the cause of death, Glassman said.
The fact that a dead body was found on such a well-known corner of the beach caused a bit of a stir Sunday morning.
Out-of-town visitor Kari Stafford was surprised to see yellow crime scene tape when she and her friend rounded the famous corner to head north on A1A for breakfast.
“I was nosy and had to take a walk to see what was going on,” said Stafford, a nurse from Ann Arbor, Mich., here on vacation. “I saw the forensic photographer taking photos of the wall and a garbage can. We were here two days ago and I had bad vibes, so we didn’t come back that night.”
Clint and Stevie Etheridge, a couple visiting from Atlanta, arrived just after the body was taken away.
“I have never witnessed a dead body on the beach,” Clint Etheridge said. “That’s a shame.”
The body was removed from the beach within two hours.
“Everyone responded quickly and efficiently,” Glassman said. “When anyone dies, it’s a very unfortunate situation. We have no control over that.”
Stevie Etheridge said he was relieved the body had already been taken away by the time he and his husband hit the beach.
“If there were a dead body on the beach, we’d avoid the area,” he said.
Susannah Bryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4554 or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan