Alligator may have killed South Carolina man found in pond with ‘bite marks’ on body: police

A South Carolina man found dead in a pond with “bite marks” on his body Saturday may have been killed by an alligator, authorities said.

A police helicopter discovered the body in a large pond on Kiawah Island while conducting a search for a man who had been reported missing hours earlier, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

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“The deceased individual had bite marks and wounds consistent in appearance with an alligator encounter,” the statement read.

Police said they suspect the body is of the missing man based on appearance, although it has yet to be confirmed. The man first went missing at 10 a.m. Saturday. The helicopter was called in after police dogs tracked the victim to the pond behind his property.

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An autopsy will determine the unidentified man’s cause of death – and whether he was mauled by the gator after he died, the department said. The state’s Department of Natural Resources is assisting in the investigation.

There have been two known deaths in South Carolina resulting from an encounter with an alligator, the Post and Courier reported. Less than a year ago, a New York kindergarten teacher was walking her pet border collie near a lagoon when an alligator came out of the water and dragged her under.

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In July 2016, a 90-year-old woman with dementia died from gator wounds after wandering from an assisted-living facility and falling into a nearby pond, according to the paper.

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