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.