Man found in alligator's mouth in Lakeland identified

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 17:58:51-04
Lakeland Police have identified the man found in the mouth of an alligator earlier this week in Lake Hunter.
Police said it was Richard Zachary Taylor, 72.  He has been in the Lakeland area for approximately 10 years, but had no permanent address.
He was identified by his fingerprints. 
The medical examiner is still conducting a toxicology report.
Late Tuesday, the alligator was captured and authorities confirmed it had remains inside its stomach. 
Joe Diaz called 911 around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday when he saw something bobbing in the water.
"I thought it was a spare tire or something just floating in the water," Diaz said.
When he walked closer to the lake, he couldn't believe what he saw.
"I could see something pulling on it from underneath the water," Diaz said.
That's when he spotted the alligator.
"It was kind of brutal to see," Diaz said.
Mickey Roberts saw it too.
"When he couldn't get it in the storm sewer, he stopped right there and started doing death rolls," Roberts said.
Roberts continued, "it was like he was protecting his kill. He was in an aggressive mode".
Detectives, with the Lakeland Police Department, believe Taylor was in the lake for more than a day.