Tomas Abraham Butterfield Morro Bay bodyboarder killed by Great white shark within minutes on Christmas Eve according to released coroner’s report.
Tomas Abraham Butterfield, 42, was bitten in the head, chest and shoulder in the Morro Bay attack and died from ‘complications of multiple penetrating blunt force traumatic injuries,’ according to a coroner’s report, The Tribune of San Luis Obispo County reported Tuesday.
A piece of what appeared to be a shark’s tooth was found on his body, the Tribune said, citing a report by a sheriff’s detective that was among documents released to the paper under a public records request.
The size or age of the shark wasn’t estimated, but the radius of one bite mark was as large as 16 inches (40.64 centimeters), according to the detective’s report.
Butterfield was attacked on Dec. 24 while bodyboarding just north of Morro Rock. The Sacramento man had been visiting his mother and brother for the holidays.
Butterfield was pulled from the waves after a surfer saw him face down in the water. He died at the scene.
In the coroner’s report, a pathologist noted that Butterfield had a fractured skull, crushed ribs and other injuries, including to the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from the torso and lower body to the heart.
Dr. Joye Carter said Butterfield died within minutes.
A DNA sample taken during the autopsy confirmed that the injuries were from a great white shark, according to Mike Harris of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which assisted in the investigation.
It wasn’t clear whether the shark attacked just once or made several lunges.
Morro Bay is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
Shark attacks increased around the world in 2021 following three consecutive years of decline, according to a.
The U.S. once again reported the most attacks and Florida accounted for nearly 40% of unprovoked bites worldwide.
Researchers with the International Shark Attack File recorded 73 unprovoked incidents last year, compared to 52 bites in 2020, according to the report.