The Medical Examiner has confirmed that human remains were found inside of the 9-foot alligator. However, they are still unsure how the man died.
Lakeland police made a gruesome discovery on Tuesday when they arrived at a lake to see a body in the jaws of an alligator.
About 1:40 p.m., Lakeland police responded to a citizen 911 call of an alligator with a body in its mouth at 1 Lake Hunter Drive. Officers saw just that and the gator 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 about an hour.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers notified a trapper, who also responded. Detectives checked the area for any evidence.
Trappers, using a baited bouy, caught a large alligator. The trapper killed the gator and took it to shore to be examined.
Police say the gator had a man's body that had been in the water more than a day, according to its state of decomposition.
The Polk County medical examiner is working to identify the body.
About 8:53 a.m. Saturday, police got a report of a a shirt in the water and pants and a backpack near the Lake Hunter Boat Ramp, 650 Sikes Blvd. The reporting resident also said there had been an aggressive alligator by the boat ramp during the week.
Several officers responded but did not find anyone in the water or a gator. The Lakeland Fire Department searched the area with its boat but did not locate anything.
At 5:16 p.m. Sunday, police got a call about something large floating in the water being circled by an alligator. Officers were not able to locate anything in the water.
It is unclear whether or not the alligator attacked the person or just found the body in the water.