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Gator Suspected of Killing Man After Hurricane Ida Captured

Human remains were found in its stomach
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2021 9:05 AM CDT
Updated Sep 14, 2021 6:51 PM CDT

(Newser) Update: Police in Louisiana believe they have captured the alligator that attacked 71-year-old Timothy Satterlee in floodwaters outside his home after Hurricane Ida. CBS reports that the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office says a 12-foot alligator weighing "a startling 504 pounds" was captured near where Satterlee vanished on Aug. 30. The sheriff's office says human remains were found in the animal's stomach and investigators will work with the coroner's office to determine if they are Satterlee's. Our original story from Aug. 31 follows.

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One of a handful of people believed to have died following Hurricane Ida was reportedly attacked by an alligator. The unidentified 71-year-old man—whose body has not been found—lived in a raised home surrounded by a wildlife refuge in Slidell, La., near Lake Pontchartrain. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Captain Lance Vitter tells WWL that he'd gone to check on items in a flooded shed beneath the house around midday Monday when his wife heard a commotion. She then saw him being attacked by an alligator.

She was able to pull him up onto a set of stairs, but had to leave in a boat to get help as cell service was down, Vitter says. CBS News' David Begnaud reports the alligator had ripped off one of the man's arms. When the wife returned, her husband was nowhere to be found, Vitter adds. Deputies found blood at the scene but were unable to locate a body after searching the knee-deep water for six hours. The search is expected to continue. Neighbors told WWL that large alligators often approach people in the area, as residents sometimes feed them.

The official death toll from Ida stands at four. Two people were killed and 10 injured in a highway collapse near Lucedale, Miss. In Louisiana, a man drowned while driving in floodwaters in New Orleans, while another person was killed when a tree fell in Prairieville, per the Washington Post. "Knowing that so many people stayed behind in places like Grand Isle and Lafitte where flood waters have devastated those areas, we expect there will be more people found that have passed," Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser tells NBC News. (Read more Hurricane Ida stories.)

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