Man’s body found in ocean off Hilton Head ID’d

A body pulled in by swimmers from the ocean Sept. 5 off Folly Field Beach on Hilton Head Island has been identified by a relative, according to Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen.

The 32-year-old man’s birth name was Anthony Kirk, but it had been changed to Chephern Nefer, Allen said. The man was identified by his father, who lives in Savannah, from a photograph, Allen said.

Finding Nefer’s next of kin was challenging because of the name change, which Nefer’s father said occurred because of his son’s conversion to Islam, Allen said. Nefer had not been reported missing, and where he was living on Hilton Head Island is still unknown.

Nefer had also used other names in previous law enforcement records and had not left behind any information about next of kin.

His body was found with no identification, as he was only wearing swim trunks and a watch. The coroner’s office identified Nefer from fingerprints in Georgia law enforcement records and tracked down his father on Sept. 20.

His death has been ruled a drowning, which likely occurred Sept. 4, the day before he was found. There are no signs of foul play, Allen said.