Authorities trapped an alligator that they believe was gripping a man's body in its mouth.
The alligator was trapped last night. Authorities confirmed today the alligator had human remains inside its stomach. The man's body has not been identified as of Wednesday afternoon. The body was recovered yesterday from Lake Hunter in Lakeland.
Joe Diaz called 911 around 1:30 p.m. 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 the unidentified man was in the lake for more than a day.
"All I know is that I've seen (a) gator chewing up a body here," Robert said.
Detectives have collected possible evidence near the lake, which includes clothing that may soon reveal who was found in Lake Hunter on Tuesday afternoon. At this point, detectives do not know how the man died. They said they are not investigating any open missing persons cases in the area, but are looking into other leads.
"That runs through the head. Who was he? Where (did) he (come) from? Why was he here," Diaz questioned.
According to detectives, the medical examiner completed the autopsy; we are waiting for those results to be released.