A man whose naked body was found washed up on a beach in Cornwall had a sock in his mouth, police have said.
Alan Eric Jeal, 64, had been the subject of a police appeal to identify him after a body was found at high tide at 2pm on February 25 on Perranporth beach.
Mr Jeal was wearing nothing but socks and one walking boot when found dead by a dog walker. A post-mortem examination found multiple injuries on Mr Jeal's body which are inconsistent with drowning.
Police, who are treating the death as “suspicious”, believe Mr Jeal may have been murdered, committed suicide or suffered an accident.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Thorne, senior investigating officer at Devon and Cornwall Police, said he could not explain why the sock was in Mr Jeal's mouth.
“We can't think of an explanation as to why it would be there and this is one of the reasons we are treating Alan's death as suspicious,” Mr Thorne said.
“Officers are keeping an open mind as to the cause of his death. Murder is one possibility we are considering, however his death may have been caused by accident or suicide.”
Mr Jeal lived alone and was not reported missing. CCTV footage is believed to show Mr Jeal in Truro city centre the evening before his body was discovered.
He was last seen at 6.36pm in Boscawen Street, Truro, seven miles from Perranporth beach.
Speaking after Mr Jeal's death, his family released a statement paying tribute to him.
“Alan was a mild-mannered, gentle man who was very interested in minerals, mining and surfing,” they said.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened that Alan's life has been cut short, and are desperate for answers as to what happened.”