Authorities in Mendocino County confirmed on Wednesday that the body found floating in the Pacific Ocean near Gualala over the weekend was Roseville restauranteur Steve Pease.
The Halloween disappearance of Pease, owner of Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill, befuddled the community as his restaurant closed in his absence. Pease was last seen Nov. 3, when he checked out of a Fort Bragg motel and drove off in a rental car. His body was found Sunday by divers 60 miles south. The rental vehicle has not been recovered.
The Mendocino County coroner was able to identify the body, which had been in the ocean for several days, using serial numbers off Pease’s hip implants.
Kat and Chris Maudru, friends of Pease, spearheaded the effort to find him.
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“Our worst fears were realized,” Chris Maudru wrote in a statement. “Steve was an incredible person that touched the lives of so many people. He was a kind, caring, compassionate man.”