Body Partially Eaten by Alligator Being Investigated by Florida Police
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
June 30, 2019
The partially-eaten body of a missing 45-year-old Florida man was discovered floating in a canal, Thursday morning, authorities in Florida said.
According to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the body of Michael Ford II, 45, of Wauchula, was discovered floating in a canal surrounding property owned by Mosaic. Sheriff's officials said a Mosaic company employee spotted the 11-foot, 10-inch alligator with part of the man's body in its mouth.
"A large alligator had a part of Ford's body in his mouth," the sheriff's office said in the release.
By the time police arrived, the 449-pound reptile had released the body. An alligator trapper with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is also involved in the investigation, trapped and killed the alligator to perform a necropsy on it to learn more.
"Ford's hand and foot were found inside the gator's stomach," the sheriff's office said of the necropsy's results.
An autopsy on the victim showed the body had suffered lacerations and injuries caused by the alligator, however, that was not Ford's cause of death, which authorities believe was drowning, pending a final toxicology report.
The Mosaic Company, which does mining along Highway 630 west of Fort Meade, said Ford was not an employee at the company.
Detectives found a pickup truck at the scene that reportedly belonged to a friend of the victim's, who had agreed to sell the vehicle to him.
Ford's family had not heard from him since June 23, authorities said.