Stab Magazine | Tragic: Missing Carlsbad Surfer, Adam D’Esposito, Found Dead In Mexico

Tragic: Missing Carlsbad Surfer, Adam D’Esposito, Found Dead In Mexico

The hard charging gentleman will be greatly missed by friends and loved ones.

news // Sep 27, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Carlsbad native Adam ‘Biff’ D’Esposito was a true-blue charger. Whether the lineup was in Tahiti, on Oahu’s North Shore, in Southern California, or Baja California you could find him heaving his body into heavy barrels with a smile on his face. His friends knew him as a warm-hearted, kind, intelligent, individual with a penchant for finding trouble then talking his way out of it.

Recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, D’Esposito went missing from Baja Malibu in early September. On September 8th a friend saw him in Rosarito, where he was reportedly soaking wet, lacking shirt and shoes, and ‘terrified.’ Multiple other sightings placed him in the Baja Malibu/Tijuana area over the next few days.

Friends and family took to social media to spread the word in an effort to locate D’Esposito, with some traveling south of the border in the hopes of tracking him down.

The last person to hear from D’Esposito was Chris Taloa.

“He was calling me like crazy,” Chris told Stab. “The night before he went missing my phone was blowing up by the guy at like three or four o’clock in the morning, going off. He was calling me on Messenger, not on his phone number. But I was over it, I was like, ‘fuck…’ The messages he left me, he wasn’t sketching out or anything. He was talking to me about Lunada Bay, how he wanted to set something up to make sure we could surf it when it gets big this winter. He didn’t sound like he was crazy or anything. He sounded normal.”

On September 25th, more than two weeks after D’Esposito went missing, his family learned of Adam’s passing and traveled to Mexico to make arrangements for his body’s return. “We received very bad news today,” Adam’s sister, Briana, told Stab last night. “My family is heading to Mexico first thing in the morning.”

Briana, who has lead the search for her brother the past few weeks, posted the following on Facebook.

It is with great sadness and the deepest sorrow that we have confirmed the death of my brother, Adam Francis Kennedy D’Esposito also known as “Biff”. The details of my brother’s death are still being sorted out, we kindly ask for your respect during this confusing time. Our hearts are heavy as we come to terms with the fact that he is no longer with us. 

He was a very charismatic person with a big heart, passionate personality and a deep love for surfing. He had a huge heart for his young daughter and enjoyed spending so much time with her in his last few months. The impact that he had on so many was incredibly evident to my family through your support, love and efforts to help us during a highly stressful & worrisome time. We thank all of you from the bottom of hearts. We will notify everyone about memorial services and paddle outs to honor my brother’s life as we confirm the dates and details. – Briana D’Esposito

Screen Shot 2018 09 26 at 3.54.22 PM

Adam was a Worst Wipeout Nominee at the 2013 Surfer Poll and Video Awards and also escaped unscathed from a shark attack while surfing Tahiti with Kamalei Alexander in 2011. He was 39 years old.

The vicious thing about mental illness is that there’s no one to blame. Nowhere to assign fault.  It inflicts a high cost on both those who suffer from it and those who care for them. It’s a pernicious monster that afflicts individuals regardless of race, class, or gender. One which can be accepted and addressed, but which cannot be avoided.

If you or a loved one suffers from bipolar disorder or depression you can find help here.


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