LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve identified the man being eaten by a 9-foot alligator near a Florida lake.
Lakeland police spokesman Gary Gross told local media Friday that 72-year-old Richard Zachary Taylor was identified through fingerprints.
Police recovered Taylor’s body Tuesday afternoon after a report of an alligator with a body in its mouth near Lake Hunter. A trapper responded a short time later and eventually caught the gator.
Gross says detectives still don’t know if Taylor drowned or was killed by the reptile. They’re waiting for additional test results from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Taylor’s body was decomposed, indicating he had been in the water a couple of days or longer. Remains found inside the alligator during a necropsy were a match to Taylor.