The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner’s Office has identified the body of a man who was found this morning in a tidal pool near Guadalupe Dunes Park as 46-year-old Benito Flores of Santa Maria who had been missing since the morning of March 30th.
Flores along with two other people was swept into the ocean during strong riptide conditions at the conclusion of a baptismal ceremony. The other two people managed to make it to shore but Flores was unaccounted for.
At approximately 7:45 a.m., Friday, a hiker who was in the Mussel Point area discovered a body in a shallow, tidal pool area approximately two and a half miles from where Flores was last seen.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies responded and due to the remote area, the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, Sheriff’s Dive Team and Santa Barbara County Air Support were called in for assistance.
Flores' family has been notified. The cause and manner of death is still under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office.