Update: Surfing pioneer suspected in Santa Cruz murder released from jail

On Tuesday we reported that aerial surfing pioneer Kevin Reed (now known as Kevin Callahan) had been arrested on suspicion of murder in a Santa Cruz death over the weekend. Late on Tuesday, Callahan was released from jail and had all charges dropped.

According to The Mercury News, the Santa Cruz County District Attorneys Office released this statement yesterday:

“After careful review of the evidence submitted by the Santa Cruz Police Department, and autopsy findings provided by the Sheriff's Coroner's office, the District Attorney’s Office has determined there is insufficient evidence to charge Kevin Callahan regarding the death of Steven Lee. Kevin Callahan has since been released from custody.”

Callahan was the first surfer to ever appear on the cover of a surf magazine doing an air when he made the cover of SURFING Magazine’s December/January 1975/76 issue.

The death of Steven Lee has been reclassified as “suspicious” and not necessarily a homicide, and Callahan remains a person of significant interest since he was found sleeping near the body on Sunday morning. Callahan and Lee were both living near the seawall along Beach Avenue as homeless persons.

Santa Cruz Police Department spokesperson Joyce Blaschke told The Mercury News, “At this point, because the coroner’s report is inconclusive. There isn’t a conclusive cause of death. We can’t rule it a homicide because we don't know how or why he died. This all hinges on the coroner’s report.”

Witnesses and Callahan himself admitted to being in an altercation with Lee on Saturday evening, and having choked him at one point. Callahan also told police that when he left Lee he had been alive.

A saddening story, Callahan has been living on the streets for years now, drinking heavily and having a hard go at it. Stay tuned to GrindTV for updates on this story as it unfolds.

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