Lakeland police ID man found inside alligator's mouth

Alligator trapped after being found with body in mouth, cops say

LAKELAND, Fla. – Lakeland police identified on Friday the man whose body was found in an alligator's mouth earlier this week.

Police tweeted that the alligator attack victim is Richard Zachary Taylor, 72, who was homeless. The cause of his death has not been released.

A necropsy confirmed that a 9-foot alligator found in Polk County with a man's body in its mouth did consume human remains. 

The gator was found Tuesday in Lake Hunter in Lakeland.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, authorities were hoping the necropsy would help them determine how the victim died and whether the gator was to blame. 

However, Lakeland police say they are still not sure if the gator killed the man or just found the body. 

The gator was caught by trappers and killed shortly after the discovery of that man's body. 

The Medical Examiner's office is working to find the reason behind Taylor's death. 


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