Body found in Lake Tahoe |

Body found in Lake Tahoe

Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneCrime-scene tape blocks off the dock leading to the Tahoe Queen after the body of a man was found submerged near the paddlewheeler on Thursday morning.

South Lake Tahoe police were unable to immediately identify a man whose body was found in Lake Tahoe near the Tahoe Queen paddlewheeler on Thursday morning.

The body – discovered by a boater about 7:30 a.m. at the mouth of Ski Run Marina – was wearing only a pair of blue jeans and a belt and was not carrying any identification, said Lt. Marty Hale. The man’s body was under about 10 feet of water directly next to the east side of the docked paddlewheeler, Hale said.

Following the report of the body, members of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department Dive and Rescue Team searched the area around the body for clues and pulled it from the water around 12:30 p.m.

Police and sheriff’s deputies briefly examined the body on the beach before it was taken to McFarlane Mortuary in South Lake Tahoe and then to the Washoe County Coroner’s Office, Hale said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

It is unclear what the man may have been doing in the area before his death, or how long he had been in the water, Hale said.

Police did not find outward signs of trauma to the body, but foul play has not been ruled out, Hale said. Police expect to know more after an autopsy today, Hale said.

There was no evidence of alcohol or substance use at the scene, but investigators will conduct toxicology tests to determine if the man was under the influence at the time of his death, Hale said.

The man was described as 25 to 30 years old, with short, dark brown hair, about 6 feet tall, weighing 180 to 200 pounds and of Hispanic or American Indian descent, Hale said in the statement.

Following the autopsy, police expect to run the man’s fingerprints through a database in an attempt to identify him and are asking people who may recognize the man’s “distinct” tattoos for help, Hale said.

The man has a tattoo of a large spider over a pentagram on his left shoulder and a tattoo of a human body with a goat’s head that was carrying a skull engulfed with flames on his right arm, Hale said in the statement.

The Tahoe Queen did not make its scheduled afternoon tours because of the investigation into the man’s death, said Austin Sass, director of sales and marketing for Aramark Lake Tahoe, which operates the paddlewheeler. The Tahoe Queen made its 6:30 p.m. dinner cruise as scheduled Thursday, and no other tours should be affected by the police investigation, Sass said.

Police ask anyone with information related to the case to contact the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at (530) 542-6110.

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