Human remains have been found inside a 12ft-long alligator which is believed to have attacked a man in Hurricane Ida floodwaters in Louisiana two weeks ago.
The St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said the parish coroner’s office was working with investigators to determine if the remains were those of Timothy Satterlee, 71, who has been missing since the attack on 30 August.
Ida had caused widespread flooding and knocked out electricity and phone services in parts of south Louisiana when it made landfall on 29 August.
Mr Satterlee was attacked outside his home, which was surrounded by floodwaters, in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
Authorities said Mr Satterlee’s wife heard a splash and walked outside their home to see the alligator attacking her husband. She managed to pull her severely injured husband to the steps of their property.
She used a small boat to reach higher ground to get help. But, when she and deputies returned to the house, Mr Satterlee was gone.
Sheriff’s deputies were joined by federal and state wildlife agents in the search for the reptile.
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- Hurricane Ida
A trap set by alligator hunters captured the 500lb animal on Monday morning.
St Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said on Facebook: “This is a horrible tragedy and my sincere condolences and sympathy goes to the Satterlee family.
“I know today’s findings does not bring their loved one back, but hopefully this can bring them some sort of closure.
“I am very proud of the hard, non-stop work, of my deputies and the other agencies who assisted, and I hope their persistence in finding this alligator will help the family with coping with their loss. We will continue to keep them in our prayers.”