CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A shocking scene in Carolina Beach this morning, as turtle nest scouting turned into a 911 call about a dead body.
A couple looking for nests found a woman screaming for someone to call 911.
"We could see in the little bit of distance there was something in the water," Jim Schley said. "We were thinking maybe she was trying to flag us down for a turtle."
Instead, Schley and his wife Lorna saw the body of a man floating in the ocean. The couple said the man was white and about around 35-years old. They say when they found him, he was unresponsive.
"I saw a man rolling in the surf, and I wanted to help him," Lorna said. "I thought maybe he was just unconscious. I went over, and that is when I saw blood."
Jim said, "It had a hole in the side of his head. It had been there for just a little bit."
Police say the man, who they have not yet identified, likely killed himself.
It's a story Carolina Beach vacationers tried keep from their minds.
"I think I am still in shock," tourist Justin Minor said. "For my kid's sake, I'm just going to pretend like I didn't hear it. We are going to try to have the best vacation we can."
Investigators say they are still searching for the gun they say may have been lost in the surf.
Police have requested a full autopsy by the State Medical Examiner in Jacksonville.
Photo Courtesy: Greg George