Officials identified the surfer reported missing and then found dead near Pacific Beach but did not have details on what may have killed him.
Brandon Beaver, 42, of San Diego died after disappearing from view far from the beach Wednesday night near the popular surfing spot Tourmaline Beach north of San Diego.
Lifeguards said Beaver’s fiancé filed a police report late Wednesday when she was concerned that Beaver hadn’t returned home.
Someone walking near the water line early Thursday spotted the surfer's body in the kelp and called 911.
Lifeguards initially said Beaver’s body showed signs of a shark attack but said the bites were believed to have occurred after death.
An autopsy was scheduled for Friday.
On Friday night, an updated report released by the county medical examiner's office stated that Beaver's cause of death was drowning.
Witnesses told lifeguards that Beaver took off his wet suit and tied it around his surfboard – an act several surfers said was highly unusual.
Lifeguards Lt. John Everhart said he had never seen anything like it in his 29 years in the department.
Check back for updates on this developing story.