Fort Meade, Fla. — Authorities on June 27 responded to a report of a dead body in a Polk County canal located on acreage belonging to the Mosaic company and that a “large” alligator was nearby.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded, describing the alligator to be just two inches shy of 12 feet long, weighing in at 449 pounds.
FWC shot and killed the gator and took the carcass, along with the man’s body to the medical examiner’s office, where officials found the the victim’s hand and foot inside the alligator’s stomach.
Authorities released the victim’s identity Saturday morning, saying the deceased is Michael Ford II, 45.
Mosaic previously said the man was not an employee of the company.
An autopsy revealed Ford had drowned, but the final cause of death is pending toxicology reports, according to WFLA.
According to Spectrum Bay News 9, the body was found around 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
NBC 2 reports that Ford’s body was found in what authorities are describing a hydraulic ditch off Peeple Road near CR 630, near the old Fort Meade mine.
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