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Alligator Incident Investigated

On June 7th at approximately 1:40 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a citizen 911 call of an alligator with a body in its mouth at 1 Lake Hunter Drive. Uniform patrol officers responded to the scene and observed what appeared to be a body in the alligator’s mouth just off of the shoreline at Lake Hunter Drive and Cresap Avenue. The alligator let go of the body and swam off, circling the area for approximately one hour. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers responded to the scene and notified a contract trapper, who also responded. Detectives canvassed the area in an attempt to find anything of evidentiary value that may assist in identifying the body.

At this time, the preliminary investigation reveals that the body is a male subject, unknown age. In addition, it appears as if the body was in the water more than one day due to the decomposition of the body. The investigation into the death is ongoing and the body will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

On June 4th, the Lakeland Police Department received a call from a citizen at 8:53 a.m. in reference to finding a shirt in the water with pair of pants and backpack nearby at the Lake Hunter Boat Ramp, 650 Sikes Blvd. The citizen did not want any contact at the time and they also reported that there had been an aggressive alligator by the boat ramp during the week. The Lakeland Police responded to the area, arriving at 9:06 a.m. Six different Lakeland Police Officers checked the surrounding area and did not locate anyone in the water or observe any alligator nearby. The Lakeland Fire Department was called at 10:01 a.m. in reference to utilizing their boat to search the surrounding lake area. At 11:01 they cleared from the lake after not locating anything. 

On June 5th, at 5:16 p.m, the Lakeland Police Department received a call from a citizen stating that they observed something large floating in the Lake Hunter with an alligator circling it. The citizen in this case had also left the area. Responding officers checked the surrounding lake area and was unable to locate anything.

At this time, there are no additional leads and the identity of the deceased is still unknown.

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.

On July 4th, at 7:14 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 4722 Puritan Lane in reference to a death investigation.  The child was left unattended for a brief time and exited through an opened door and fell into the swimming pool. The investigation revealed that there were at least four adults present in the dwelling when the incident occurred.  The mother, Samantha Holt, 17 yrs old, was in a different portion of the dwelling at the time of the drowning. The decedent was in the care of his biological father, Brandon Paul, 18 yrs old.  Paul and a friend were playing billiards in the same room that the decedent was in.   Paul left the decedent with his friend to find a baby-gate.  During that time, the child was left alone while the friend went to utilize the restroom.  When Paul return he could not find the decedent.  During the search, Paul located the decedent in the swimming pool. Paul and his friend attempted to provide CPR and notified emergency personnel. 

The decedent was transported to LRMC and pronounced deceased 8:15 p.m.. This case is still under investigation and an autopsy will be conducted on Monday and determine manner / cause of death.

Decedent: Galvin Lee Paul,07/26/2013 (11months old) .