Alligators surround body in Florida lake, police say

Alligators Could be to Blame for Decomposed Body Found Near Florida Lake

A badly decomposed body was found near the shore of a Florida lake, and witnesses said alligators could be to blame, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The body was found in the mangroves near the shore of Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg on Thursday morning. According to a news release, St. Petersburg police officials said there were "signs of alligator involvement, although due to the condition of the body it’s too soon to know the cause of death."

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Witnesses said they saw alligators dragging the body through the water.

“It is badly decomposed,” St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said. “We’re unable to tell anything about it — gender or race or anything.

“There is no way we can tell when the gators became involved."

St. Petersburg resident Otis Crawford and his partner, Patricia Kays, said they found the body about 8 a.m., the Times reported. They said it was surrounded by 10 gators, the newspaper reported.

“I saw an alligator take a chunk out of (the body), throw it up in the air and catch it and eat it,” said Kays, 60. “I had to go back to the car after that. I couldn’t watch it anymore.”

The couple then called police. The investigation is ongoing, WFTS reported.