SLIDELL, La. – A 12-foot, 504-pound alligator suspected of killing a 71-year-old Louisiana man during Hurricane Ida was captured Monday morning and human remains were found in its stomach, sheriff’s officials said.
St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputies and the U. S. and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents caught the gator in the area of Avery Estates, near the location where Timothy Satterlee Sr. went missing on August 30, a day after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, causing flooding and destruction across the region.
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Sheriff’s officials said Satterlee’s wife called 911 to report the gator attack, saying her husband went downstairs, where there was about 4 feet of floodwaters, to check on the shed.
“She opened the back door and saw he was getting attacked by an alligator,” Capt. Lance Vitter said. “She tried her best to fend off the alligator. When it released the gentleman, she pulled him up onto the steps to render aid. When deputies got out there, they noticed a large amount of blood and learned from his spouse that the body was no longer present.”
Officials searched the area for three weeks and observed a large alligator in a waterway near where the incident occurred. Deputies and agents, with the assistance of two Louisiana Department of Wildlife licensed nuisance hunters, set traps to catch the alligator.
The gator was caught and had what’s believed to be human remains inside its stomach, sheriff’s official said.
Investigators will work with the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to verify the remains are Satterlee.
“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,” the sheriff said.