Identity of man found in gator’s mouth may never be known

Still shot of a video of the gator that had a man in its mouth.

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — We may never know the identity of the man whose body was found in an alligator’s mouth earlier this week.

Lakeland Police Department Sergeant Gary Gross said that detectives have checked the prints of the man and the prints do not match anyone who is included the state fingerprint database of people who have been arrested in Florida.

Gross speculated that the person may have never been arrested in Florida. He said there was no way to obtain dental imprints because the man’s face was gone.

On Tuesday afternoon, Joe Diaz called 911 to report seeing an alligator with a man’s body in its mouth in Lakeland’s Lake Butler.

“I noticed something bobbing in the water just over here. At first I thought it was a tire or something just from the looks of it,” Diaz told News Channel 8. “I noticed there was a gator on it because he kind of took it up and rolled it,” Diaz said.

Diaz speculated that the body had been in the lake. “You can tell it had been there awhile because they had smelled something that was not right.”

Lakeland police responded and removed the body from the lake. A trapper then went out on the lake to search for the alligator. The trapper caught a gator and human remains were later found in the alligator’s stomach.

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