Severed hand report false

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies and even the county’s medical examiner were convinced it was a hand found on Navarre Beach Sunday afternoon.

But it wasn’t.

According to Sheriff Bob Johnson, the object was convincing looking. It even fooled him he said.

Not a hand, an object found on Navarre Beach Sunday was identified as a type of sea vegetation.

According to a press release, a citizen saw the “hand” on the beach. Believing it to be human remains, the individual put it in a plastic bag and brought it to the Navarre Beach Fire Department. The sheriff’s office was called.

Johnson said when the medical examiner opened up the object they did not find bones. Instead, they found seed like structures. The item was actually a type of sea vegetation said Jeff Martin, director of the District One Medical Examiners Office.

He described the object as being soft and tissue like to the touch.

“It just kind of looked like a hand with no digits, and there were folds in it that could have mimicked skin,” he said.  

Martin said mistaken identity when it comes to sea life is not uncommon. He pointed out that predators may regurgitate things that look very different than when they were alive, and vegetation on the sea floor can have shapes and textures similar in appearance to human body parts.

The sheriff’s office confirmed in a press release Monday that no hand was found on Navarre Beach.

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