Fleeing burglar killed by 'gator in Florida lake

(iStock)
(iStock)

Miami - A 3.5m-long alligator killed a burglary suspect who apparently jumped into a Florida lake to evade arrest, police said on Tuesday.

Police said Matthew Riggins, 22, went missing on November 13, after telling his girlfriend that he planned to go to the town of Barefoot Bay to commit burglaries with another suspect.

Ten days later, divers found Riggins' body - missing parts of both legs and an arm - in a lake in the town.

Authorities also determined that an alligator in the water appeared to be behaving aggressively.

After the reptile was removed from the lake and euthanised, authorities analysed the contents of the gator's stomach and confirmed the remains were Riggins'.

The night he went missing authorities had received calls about two suspicious men trespassing near homes in Barefoot Bay, which led police to hypothesise that Riggins had jumped into the water to avoid arrest.

Tod Goodyear, from the local sheriff's office in Brevard County, called Riggins' death "unfortunate".

"The person was at the wrong place at the wrong time," he told local TV.

Florida wildlife officials say that since 1948, there have been 22 known deaths caused by alligators in the state.

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