Human remains found inside a 12-foot alligator suspected of savaging a 71-year-old man in Hurricane Ida floods

·2 min read
Hurricane Ida houses
Storm damaged houses are reflected in flood water after Hurricane Ida on September 3, 2021 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Sean Rayford/Getty Images
  • Human remains were found in the stomach of a 504-pound alligator suspected of attacking a 71-year-old man.

  • The Louisiana man went missing a day after Hurricane Ida battered the state.

  • Authorities believe the man attacked outside his home, which was surrounded by floodwaters.

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Human remains have been found in the stomach of a 504-pound alligator, suspected of attacking an elderly Louisiana man a day after Hurricane Ida flooded the state.

Authorities at the St Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said this week they're still trying to determine if the remains belong to Timothy Satterlee, 71, who went missing outside his home on August 30.

The Satterlee's home, located northeast of New Orleans, was among the many properties left battered by Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the Gulf Coast.

Authorities believe Satterlee was attacked outside his home, which was surrounded by floodwaters.

According to Captain Lance Vitter, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, Satterlee's wife told authorities that the last time she had seen her husband, he had gone outside to check on the contents of their ground-level shed.

She then heard a splashing noise and ran out to see a 12-foot-long alligator attacking her husband, ripping off one of his arms, Reuters reported.

She was able to intervene and pulled her husband to safety to the steps of their home. But Satterlee was severely injured and told his wife to get into a boat and get help.

When she found help and returned an hour later, her husband was no longer on the stairs.

"She just never thought in her wildest nightmares that she would get back and he'd be gone," Vitter said, according to Reuters.

alligator
Body parts were found inside a large alligator that was euthanized and cut open Alan Diaz/AP Photo

Authorities were looking for Satterlee in the area on airboats for weeks when one of their drones spotted a "rather large" alligator not far from the house, Vitter said, according to Reuters.

He added that they euthanized and cut open the alligator, and the "upper parts of a human body" were discovered.

Vitter also said he hoped finding the alligator would bring some closure for Satterlee's wife.

"Now that we have located the alligator, at least she can get a death certificate," Vitter said, according to Reuters.

Alligators do not usually attack humans unless the food they have stashed is displaced, as can occur during major storms.

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