They got closer, wondering what was floating there in the shallow waters that some seagulls seemed excited about.
They were completely shocked to realize it was a young woman, lying face down, and she had no clothes on.
Her brown eyes were wide open, staring out into the waters as she bobbed along with the waves. Her butterfly tattoo on her shoulder was clearly visible.
Her right leg was nearly missing entirely, up to her thigh, and she was also missing huge pieces of her skin.
It was reasonable for them to assume she had to have been attacked by a shark, and when authorities arrived on the beach, they naturally thought the same thing.
Although shark attacks in the area are a rare occurrence, they can happen, and up to 10 different species of sharks are thought to inhabit the waters along the coast of San Diego.
It seemed Michelle’s case was over before it even started, but here’s where it gets very bizarre.
Wikipedia; Michelle smiles in the photo above
Michelle was transported to the San Diego Lifeguard Headquarters, where an autopsy was performed on her.
The San Diego Medical Examiner Brian Blackbourne noted that Michelle’s right leg had been removed at the thigh.
She had a broken pelvis, broken ribs, a broken neck, and quite a few contusions and cuts on her torso and face.
She was thought to have been still alive when she sustained all of her injuries, and she had a lot of sand in her stomach, mouth, throat, and lungs.
It was concluded by Brian that she had ingested all of the sand and broke her neck as the shark pulled her down and she was gasping for air.
Brian had never done an autopsy before on a victim of a shark attack, and the other authorities who saw Michelle’s body didn’t even know what a shark attack victim looked like, as they had never seen it before either.
Brian did reach out to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to ask for more information on shark attack victims, but none of those experts saw Michelle’s body.
He figured her cause of death had to be drowning and blood loss. He went on to detail in the autopsy report that Michelle had been attacked by a great white shark sometime around midnight.
This is where the facts don’t quite add up…
FindAGrave; Michelle smiles in the above black and white photo