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Human remains believed to be missing swimmer wash ashore at Ponte Vedra Beach

by: Action News Jax Updated:

A medical examiner is working to confirm that parts of human remains that washed ashore at Ponte Vedra Beach this weekend belong to a missing swimmer.

Authorities said the pieces of human remains washed ashore this weekend.

They believe the body part belongs to Dale Kopf, a 47-year-old swimmer who went missing on Friday.

Jeremy Robshaw with St. Johns County Fire Rescue said two men were in the water in the 2900 block of South Ponte Vedra Boulevard.

One man came back to shore, went on the beach and couldn't find the other man.

"The buddy went to the restroom, when he returned he discovered that his friend was gone," Commander Chuck Mulligan with St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies were not able to locate the man. 

"We believe that there’s a strong likelihood that it could be him because the part that washed ashore is very close to proximity, to where Mr. Kopf disappeared from," Mulligan said.

Deputies are still working to recover Kopf's body. 

"It’s rare that we find situations like this but given the conditions -- the debris in the water, certainly marine animal life -- we certainly have seen this in the past," Mulligan said.

Mulligan said a medical examiner is working to confirm the remains belong to Kopf.