Burglary Suspect Hides in Lake, and a Gator Gets Him

Matthew Riggins picked the wrong hiding spot—an alligator-inhabited lake
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2015 9:41 AM CST
Not the PO'd Brevard County alligator.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A burglary suspect in Brevard County, Fla., said to be hiding from the cops drowned after an alligator apparently dragged him underwater in a Barefoot Bay lake, USA Today reports. Matthew Riggins, 22, had reportedly told his girlfriend on Nov. 13 that he'd be in the Barefoot Bay area to pull off some home burglaries, and witnesses in the area called in reports that day of two men wandering behind homes dressed in black. When cops showed up, the men apparently took off, and Riggins never returned home.

Riggins' body was found 10 days later in the lake, with bite marks indicative of a gator attack, and a gator "aggressively" came near dive team members when they were retrieving Riggins' body, the Orlando Sentinel notes. After being euthanized, the gator's innards revealed remains "consistent with the injuries to Riggins inside the alligator's stomach," per the paper. In what could be the understatement of the week, a Barefoot Bay resident tells Bay 9 News, "He hid in the wrong place," while another adds, less charitably, "I would say it's poetic justice, you want to sit there and steal from people." (It's been almost three years since a pot-guarding reptile named Mr. Teeth passed away.)

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