Suspected Burglar Eaten By Alligator While Hiding From Police


A suspected burglar was killed and partially eaten by an 11ft alligator after he waded into Barefoot Bay lake while trying to hide from police.

Sheriff’s deputies were chasing chased two suspects with dogs and a helicopter on November 13th, after residents in the Barefoot Bay area reported two men walking behind houses, authorities said.

Sputnik news reports:

Local investigators reported that 22-year-old Matthew Riggins had told his girlfriend on November 13 that he would be in Barefoot Bay to commit burglaries. This report coincides with witness statements that they had called police after seeing two suspicious men dressed in back in the area. When police officers came, the men broke into a run. One was caught and arrested.

On November 23, Riggins’ body was discovered in the lake with gator bite’ marks, by divers from the sheriff’s office who said an “aggressive” animal came after them while they were taking the remains out of water, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

An autopsy on the man showed that he drowned after a reptile attack. According to a statement by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, a necropsy on the alligator found Riggins’ remains in the gator’s stomach.

“When the body was found, it had injuries that were consistent with an alligator attack,” Maj. Tod Goodyear with BCSO said. “We had trappers euthanize the gator and when we opened it up, there were some remains inside that were consistent with injuries found on the body.”

“He hid in the wrong place,” one Barefoot Bay resident told Bay 9 News.  “I would say it’s poetic justice, you want to sit there and steal from people,” another said.