Authorities in Florida believe a 22-year-old man died after an attack from an alligator, which has since been euthanized.
The body of Matthew Riggins was discovered in a lake in late November, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Investigators believe Riggins, of Palm Bay, Fla., drowned following an encounter with the animal.
Some of Riggins’s remains were missing when his body was recovered, and there were bite marks present, Maj. Tod Goodyear, of the sheriff’s office, told The Post.
“When the body was found, it had injuries that were consistent with an alligator attack,” Goodyear told Florida Today. “We had trappers euthanize the gator and when we opened it up, there were some remains inside that were consistent with injuries found on the body.”
In mid-November, Riggins told his girlfriend that he and another man were going to the area of Barefoot Bay and planned to commit burglaries, according to a sheriff’s office release. Authorities would later receive an emergency call from a local resident, who said two men clad in black were walking near Barefoot Bay homes there.
The suspects ran when they spotted law enforcement, and authorities weren’t able to locate them again, even with the help of police dogs.
While the search was happening, Riggins contacted his girlfriend and told her that he and the other subject were being pursued, the sheriff’s office said.
Riggins never returned home, and was later reported missing. Authorities encountered the large, aggressive alligator when they discovered Riggins’s body last month.
“A forensic examination of the alligator located remains consistent with the injuries to Riggins inside the alligator’s stomach,” the release stated.