The prosecution case is that Conner washed ashore, however a careful consideration of the tide levels proves that this is not possible.
First, it’s necessary to understand that not every high tide is equal, and in fact the highest high tides are about a foot higher than the average high tide.
The following chart shows the tide level around the discovery of Conner’s body:
The height of the high tide which might have washed Conner ashore is 5.88 feet. The following image shows the site when the high tide was slightly more than that ( 5.94 feet ):
Clearly, Conner could not have reached the position of the balloons, even with this slightly higher level.
However, the jury were shown this picture, taken on January 10, 2004, when the high tide was 6.39 feet, six inches higher:
It’s obvious that the additional six inches in the water depth makes a big difference. The whole area is nearly submerged, and it becomes plausible Conner could have floated to the position where he was found. But this is not the high tide level on the day Conner could have washed ashore!
Finally, Conner was found ABOVE the debris line which is formed each time the tide comes in. This is confirmation that Conner could not have floated to the location he was found. Instead, he was either moved after floating ashore ( which seems unlikely ) or someone placed his body where it was found, possibly using a boat to access the location.
Credit: the tide levels and images for this article have been taken from http://pwc-sii.com/Research/connerdidnotwashashore.htm which has a great deal of extra information on this subject.