San Diego

Hundreds Paddle Out for Carlsbad Big Wave Surfer Found Dead in Mexico

There was a lot of love shown Wednesday night at a ceremonial paddle out for Carlsbad surfer Adam “Biff” D'Esposito, who was found dead September 9 in Mexico.

“He had a passion for life. He was always scheming some way to get at the next wave. He was a true surfer. We chase the waves, we chase the ocean," a friend of Adam said.

She and her sister Mary paddled Adam's board past the wave break at Carlsbad State Beach and joined hundreds of other surfers mourning the loss of Adam.

Surfers locked hands forming what looked like a drifting wreath around Adam's father's boat in the same waters Adam learned to surf in as a child.

After sharing stories, they tossed flowers into the water to remember the 39-year-old father. His 6-year-old daughter Annabelle was there to witness the love.

“I felt like that was really special that we could bring his daughter to where he learned how to surf and she could feel the power of all of his friends and where he grew up and know his spirit lives on," Adam's sister Mary said.

“The energy of everyone being there was something outside of ourselves. You could feel the spirit,” Briana said.

Adam's sisters told NBC 7 last week that he died of an apparent drowning south of Baja Malibu near Rosarito.

"Since my brother is a big wave surfer, spending the better part of the last 20 years in Tahiti surfing some of the most dangerous waves in the world. It’s very hard for us and many of his friends to believe he would just drown. It seems like there has to be some more to the story that led him to that point,” Mary told NBC 7 after first learning of his death.

The 39-year-old father went to Mexico Sept. 2 for a surfing vacation and to see his dad. He borrowed his dad's car Sept. 6 and never returned.

Two days later, a surf shop owner said he saw Adam shoeless and shirtless, acting agitated, like someone was following him.

Adam's sisters say he'd recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Despite authorities saying there's no foul play, his family is keeping their investigation open.

"With various sightings, the condition he was in, the paranoia, the fear he had, I feel we owe it to him to put together that timeline. And right now the timeline doesn’t make sense," said sister Briana.

Adam’s sister says Mexican authorities found him dead, without identification on Sunday, Sept. 9, but didn’t notify them until nearly two weeks after despite their contact with multiple U.S. and Mexican agencies amid the search for Adam.

The family has set up a Gofundme page to help support Adam’s daughter Annabelle.

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