updated 8/13/2007 8:48:43 PM ET 2007-08-14T00:48:43

A man once named one of Britain's 50 most eligible bachelors was stabbed to death in this New Jersey shore resort town, authorities said.

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Lavern Paul Ritch, 37, of Penarth, Wales, went to the beach south of Atlantic City, ate dinner and visited some night spots Saturday and was stabbed early Sunday, the prosecutor's office in Atlantic County said.

Ritch was on a two-week vacation visiting friends near Philadelphia, officials said.

Police found Ritch when they responded to an emergency call at about 2 a.m. He was taken to a hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later.

The county medical examiner's office said Ritch was stabbed once in the heart.

Ritch was listed in a 2002 poll of Britain's 50 most eligible bachelors by Company magazine, and was named the 12th most eligible man in Wales that same year in a local newspaper.

He worked as a swimming and fitness instructor in Cardiff, Wales, the South Wales Echo newspaper said. The ITV television network said he had appeared as a contestant in the British version of "Gladiators" in 1998, winning through to a quarter final show.

Police have not said whether they have a suspect and no murder weapon has been recovered.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Prosecutor Theodore F. L. Housel released images of a man officials were looking to talk to about the incident.

The man was described as a white male, 35-40 years old, with a medium to heavyset build. He is about 5 feet 10 inches (1.77 meters) tall, authorities said, with dark hair, with possibly some gray.

The man also was wearing a green hat with a flat top and short brim that resembles an army fatigue hat.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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