Polk County Police in Florida are investigating the death of a 45-year-old man whose remains were found in the jaws of a giant alligator roughly 12 feet long and 449 pounds in weight that was floating in a canal. At the time of the discovery, the reptile still had a hand and foot of the deceased in its stomach.
“At 7:43 am we received a call regarding the body of an adult found in the water and near an alligator. [The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) is attending, "the county sheriff's office reported Thursday through its official Twitter account. The body was reportedly located on the property of fertilizer maker Mosaic, near Peeples Road.
Carrie Horstman, belonging to said office, identified the victim as Michael Ford II, a resident of Wauchula.
"When a Mosaic employee found the body, the large alligator had part of Ford's body in its jaws," Horstman explained. "When rescuers arrived at the site they unhooked the reptile."
Investigators found the victim's car parked near where they found his body. A friend of Ford's identified the vehicle as he had recently agreed to sell it to the deceased, Patch Florida reports.
Ford had disappeared days before without a trace. "Neither For's friends nor his family have heard from him since Sunday, June 23, 2019," Hortsman said in remarks reproduced by the WFTS network in Tampa.
"The autopsy revealed that Ford suffered lacerations and injuries caused by the animal and his apparent cause of death was drowning," said the same source. "Although its definitive cause and form of death remain pending until toxicology is awaited."
The animal was euthanized by FWC personnel.
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