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Death of Garden Grove Sailor a Mystery

September 22, 1987

The cause of death remained a mystery in the ill-fated voyage of a Southern California lawyer and solo ocean sailor, whose decomposed body was found in the cabin of his yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in July. The Honolulu medical examiner has closed the investigation into the case of Manning Eldridge, 42, of Garden Grove, with the cause of death officially undetermined. "The body (is) almost completely skeletonized," Deputy Medical Examiner Mary Flynn said. No evidence of injury showed up during testing, and what little tissue remained showed no trace of drugs, she said. There was still food and water aboard the yacht when it was found July 26 by a passing fishing vessel. Eldridge left Tahiti in his 41-foot sloop, Marara, bound for Hawaii Jan. 8. He was to complete the last leg of what had been a two-year solo dream voyage of the South Pacific and was to arrive in Hawaii n mid-February.

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