Dead Body Found at Hammon Cove Marina Identified as James Michael Brannon

Body found in marina crate/Wrapped in plastic, horribly decomposed
Community News Group / Robert Christie

Authorities have identified the decomposed remains found at Hammond Cove Marina as 60-year old James Michael Brannon.

The medical examiner’s office ruled Brannon’s death a homicide after discovering he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Brannon’ last known address was in Bozeman, MT.

Officers recovered the body on Tuesday, September 20 at 12:24 p.m. following a call from marina workers.

According to Justin Dambinskas, the crate in which the body was found sat under a boat at the marina for a “few years.”

According to DNAInfo, Brannon is originally from California and is survived only by his 80-year old brother Thomas, a former member of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Thomas began looking for his brother in 2004 after not hearing from him in years.

However, his search was futile and he gave up any hope of finding him.

“I suspected he had to be dead because I got into his Social Security records and there was no activity of any kind. When your Social Security isn’t being used, something’s wrong,” Thomas said.

The NYPD notified Thomas of his brother’s death the week James was found.

The website reporterd Brannon had been in the create for about a decade.

Brannon had a few run-ins with the law, being arrested for driving under the influence in both Los Angeles and later in Bozeman.

According to sources his wallet was still in his pants pocket.

The owner of the boat, according to the web site was Michael Scewczyk, who had been working on the boat for several years to make it seaworthy.

However, he died shortly after completing the work and the process of dividing the boat owner’s estate was a lengthy one.

He left the boat to his girlfriend who sold it, DNAInfo claims.

Workers found the crate after the new owner removed the boat from the Marina in July.

However, the crate remained untouched.

Dambinskas said the crate was finally moved after he and his staff were cleaning up the marina.

He said they were about to throw out the crate but decided to take a look inside first.

“I was shocked like everyone else,” said Dambinskas.

Upon finding the body, police said it was so decomposed they could not initially provide identification.

According to authorities, “the investigation is ongoing and active.”

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at