At a news conference Thursday morning, officials said he had wounds that may be consistent with shark bites and that an investigation was underway to determine whether the wounds occurred before or after the man died.

The body was discovered about 3:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Grand Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatcher said. The body washed up near the area where a surfer went missing Wednesday night.

A lifeguard lost sight of the surfer in three-foot seas about a half- mile north of Crystal Pier, then contacted the Coast Guard about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday.

One witness told 10News they saw the man sitting on his surfboard. A surfboard and a wetsuit were found about 300 yards out, according to the Coast Guard.

Lifeguards searched until about 9 p.m. Wednesday, and Coast Guard personnel continued their efforts throughout most of the night, San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Everhart said.