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Body Buried at Sea Washes Ashore

November 25, 1998

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) _ The body of a man who was buried at sea more than a year ago washed ashore earlier this month, officials said Tuesday.

Investigators believe the body of John R. Konicek may have been dislodged from his casket by the churning waters of the remnants of Hurricane Mitch as the storm passed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Konicek, who died on Nov. 5, 1997, and was buried three miles offshore about a week later, is the fourth body buried at sea that washed ashore or was found in Florida waters in recent years.

A man walking his dog found the body Nov. 8 near Marineland, about 20 miles south of St. Augustine.

``It is very unusual,″ said Kevin Kelshaw, spokesman for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. ``This is the first time it’s happened since I moved here in 1989.″

Konicek, 48, wore a medical identification bracelet that authorities used to identify his body.

Burials at sea can be done privately or by the Navy or Coast Guard. Federal regulations require that a person be buried no closer than three miles at a depth of at least 100 fathoms, or 600 feet.

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