Sand dune collapses on Florida beach, smothering man recording the sunrise, cops say

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A man’s body was found sticking out of a sand dune on a Florida beach, and investigators believe he was killed when the hill of sand collapsed over him, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

The discovery was made early Monday, Aug. 8, on Hutchinson Island, about 120 miles north of Miami.

Evidence suggests the man dug a small amount of sand out of the dune, “then sat inside the dune with his feet elevated.”

It was a move intended to position him in a good spot to record the sunrise, but the dune suddenly collapsed around him, “trapping him underneath,” officials said. Sunrise was around 6:56 a.m. Monday, records show.

“An early morning beachgoer noticed a portion of the victim’s body protruding from the sand and called for help,” the sheriff’s office said. ”It appears that the man died hours earlier from asphyxia as a result of being trapped underneath the sand.”

The identity of the 35-year-old has not been released. He lived in nearby Stuart, officials said.

Foul play is not suspected. Investigators are awaiting results of toxicology tests, which is standard procedure, the sheriff’s office said.

“Those test, however, are not likely to change the outcome of this incident being a tragic accident,” the sheriff’s office said.

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