UPDATED STORY: Divers Find Second Body in Lower Level of Manasquan Inlet Rock Jetty
Second man found may have been friend of first man found this morning
Divers found two bodies on the Point Beach side of the Manasquan Inlet rock jetty, according to one of the divers of the Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad.
Milton Rodriguez, one of five divers who searched for the bodies Sunday and Monday, said he found the second body early Monday afternoon in the lower crevices of the rock jetty in Point Beach, near where the first victim had been found.
Rodriguez said police had spotted the first body on Monday morning, also in the lower levels of crevices in the rock jetty, and then the dive team recovered him. The man was wearing only underwear.
The second victim, who police and the divers had originally been searching for, was found stuck between two rocks, 96 feet from the first victim, Rodriguez said. It is believed that is not the original place where he had been stuck between rocks, Rodriguez said.
The second man was naked, which was an important piece of information for divers and investigators since an eyewitness said they had seen a naked man stuck between the rocks. That initial tip prompted police to begin the investigation.
Rodriguez said he was on the scene when both bodies were found and both were recovered from the Point Beach side.
The second body was found at about 1:15 p.m. Monday in close proximity to where another body had been found Monday morning, said Deputy Chief Michael Mohel of the Ocean County Prosecutor's office.
It is believed that one of the men had been stuck in the rocks of the jetty on the Point Beach side, was seen by emergency responders, and then went under the water.
The man found Monday morning has been identified as Jorge Hernandez, 25, of Baltimore Avenue, Point Beach, said Mohel, adding he is not yet releasing the identity of the man found Monday afternoon.
No foul play is suspected so far in the investigation that is continuing, said Mohel. The investigation will include autopsies of both bodies, he said.
Mohel said investigators have not definitively determined if the second body found had been a friend of the first man found in the morning, but that is part of the ongoing investigation.
He said investigators told him two men went to the jetty together at about 5 a.m. Sunday.
Mohel said he does not know which of the bodies was the man who had been wedged in the rocks.
Authorities transported the first man's body from the rock jetty at the Manasquan Inlet to another location at 11:48 a.m. Monday.
Authorities had first thought earlier this morning that the first body they recovered was the body of a man who had been wedged between jetty rocks at the Manasquan Inlet, Captain Jerry Meaney of the Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad had said this morning.
However, now authorities say the description of the man some of them had seen stuck in the rocks and that of the body now lying on the rock jetty do not necessarily match, Meaney said.
Dive teams from the Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad and police resumed the search this morning after working at the scene for several hours Sunday night.
State Police had used a boat and helicopter to assist in the search that spanned several hours.
Tina Gallucci, a Brick resident who was raised in Point Beach, said in an email this morning: "My 14-year-old daughter and her friends are the kids who noticed the body first, at 7:30 p.m., and told an adult who notified the police.
"My son, his girlfriend and I rushed down to the jetties to be with her," Gallucci said. "She actually took a picture of the feet wedged in the rocks. She was there taking lots of pictures and looking for starfish on the rocks when they spotted his feet wedged in the jetty.
"She is disturbed over this," Gallucci wrote. "We stayed and watched a lot of what was happening, and when they lost his body, we were upset and finally left at 10 pm."
Chest Nesley, the lead diver involved with the search Sunday night and Monday, said at the scene on Monday that it appears the first body found was not the one wedged in the rocks.
He had said, a little while before the second body was found, that he and four other divers were going to again dive to continue searching for the man who had been seen stuck in the rocks.
He said the rough surf both days made the search in the underwater depths of the rock jetty even more difficult.
"It's like a maze down there," Nesley said. "There are so many nooks and crannies. You can go from side of the jetty to the other down there."
Nesley said the divers have trained beneath the rock jetty, just for incidents such as this.
A squad boat, a state Marine Police boat, and a state police helicopter had also assisted in the search.