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Key West homeless man found dead on beach

This is the area where the dead man was found.
This is the area where the dead man was found. Michael Moritz

A 50-year-old man who lived at the Key West homeless shelter was found dead on a local beach Thanksgiving Day, but police have only called it a “non-suspicious” death investigation, not a homicide.

David Allen Bolivar, whose legal address was the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter, 5537 College Road, was found in the sea oat grass along the sand dunes at Smathers Beach off South Roosevelt Boulevard about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

“His personal belongings were there under a little bench,” said Key West police spokesman Steve Torrence. “It’s an ongoing death investigation. I’m not supposed to say much of anything.”

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday and no preliminary cause of death was being released Friday, Torrence said.

Bolivar committed suicide by cutting his throat, according to two sources close to the investigation. Torrence would not confirm or deny those reports.

“We’re not calling it a homicide,” Torrence said.

“Homelessness is a life-threatening condition,” said John Miller, executive director of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League, which runs KOTS for the city. “It’s not just your health. It’s violent out there and it’s depressing. Somebody who doesn’t have the inner resources gets knocked around like that. It’s almost surprising they do as well as they do.”

Bolivar was a registered sex offender in Florida for a 2000 case in Broward County, but that didn’t bar him from staying at the shelter.

“As long as they behave themselves on site and Mr. Bolivar apparently did,” Miller said.

Bolivar pleaded guilty in 2001 to lewd and lascivious behavior in the presence of a child under 16 when he lived in Ocala, according to court records. The charge means no physical contact was made but an illicit “exhibition” took place.

“Mentally disordered sex offender” was listed in the sentencing notes of his case file. He was sentenced to 10 years state probation but remains on Florida’s registry.

In Monroe County, the only criminal history Bolivar had was a 2015 misdemeanor trespassing conviction. He was last arrested for trespassing in a park May 17 but the allegation was dismissed on July 5.

Bolivar listed KOTS as his permanent address in June and again on Sept. 14, and he left the shelter Thursday morning after staying there.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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