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11-foot gator eats burglary suspect hiding in Fla. pond

Matthew Riggins. (Brevard County Sheriff's Office).PNG

Authorities say a burglary suspect was killed by an 11-foot alligator while hiding from authorities in a Florida pond.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says 22-year-old Matthew Riggins drowned as a result of the gator attack.

Riggins and another suspect were in a neighborhood in Barefoot Bay to burglarize homes, Brevard County Sheriff's officials say. Riggins and the other man were spotted on Royal Palm Boulevard, but eluded authorities.

Neither Riggins nor the other man was ever located by deputies.

Riggins reportedly called his girlfriend to say he was being chased by authorities. His girlfriend called police the next day to report him missing when he never returned home, Brevard Sheriff's officials say.

The half-eaten body of Riggins was found in a Barefoot Bay lake just north of Ocean Avenue Way on Nov. 23. He was missing his lower extremities and part of his arm, deputies told the Orlando Sentinel.

Sheriff dive team members were recovering Riggins' body when they encountered a large gator "aggressively approaching" them.

Due to trauma observed on the body, a trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called, and an alligator approximately 11 feet in length was trapped and euthanized.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says the forensic examination of the alligator located remains consistent with the injuries to Riggins inside the alligator's stomach.

Agents have identified the male who was in Riggins' company that night, however he has refused to cooperate with law enforcement in reference to this investigation.

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