April 12, 2011 / 7:36 PM / 7 years ago

Body of California tsunami victim found in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore (Reuters) - The body of a California man swept out to sea by a surge from Japan’s tsunami last month has washed up on the Oregon coast, some 300 miles away, authorities said on Tuesday.

The body of 25-year-old Dustin Douglas Weber-- who was taking photographs of the tsunami when he was swept away -- was found on April 2 by someone walking on the beach near Warrenton, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River.

“The body had been in the water for several weeks,” Dr. Christopher Young, Oregon deputy state medical examiner, told Reuters.

He said significant decomposition required identification using dental records and the official cause of death was listed as drowning.

“The only unusual thing about this is the distance, where the body was found. In a case like this, a body is usually found pretty close to where they entered the water,” Young said.

Weber was swept out to sea on March 11, the day a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan and triggered a massive tsunami.

Weber, who was born in Oregon and had moved to California only two weeks before the accident, had been taking photographs of the tsunami waves near the mouth of the Klamath River when he was swept away.

“Of course, I‘m devastated,” Weber’s mother, Lori Davis, told Reuters in an interview. “The whole thing has been really, really hard.”

“He was an amazing guy,” Davis said of her son. “I have never seen him so excited and motivated. He was extremely happy.”

Reporting by Teresa Carson; Editing by Dan Whitcomb

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