Hunter Catches Huge Alligator, Solves 20-Year-Old Mystery Of Missing Dogs

By Sarah Tate

April 21, 2021

After more than 20 years of confusion and dead ends, a cold case has finally been solved with the help of a hunter in South Carolina.

Ned McNeely was hunting on private land earlier this month when he caught a massive 12-foot-long alligator. The 445-pound behemoth is thought to be responsible for the disappearance of several dogs nearly three decades ago, according to BroBible.

McNeely hauled his capture to Cordray's Butcher Shop near Charleston to have it cleaned and taxidermied, a trophy of what at first glance appears to be a prehistoric beast. Though not standard practice, the shop opened up the gator's stomach out of curiosity. When they did, they found several items, such as a bullet casing, spark plug, and plenty of turtle shells. However, two things stood out: dog tags.

Ned McNeely brought in this 12’ long 445 lb. private land gator this morning! We don’t usually open up the stomach but...

Posted by Cordray's on Thursday, April 8, 2021

The old identifiers were still legible and the shop was able to call one of the phone numbers listed. As it turns out, the tags belonged to a man whose deer dogs went missing 24 years ago while on a hunting trip. Deer dogs are not small creatures, BroBible points out, so it was a surprise when they suddenly disappeared all those years ago.

McNeely may have finally given the dogs' owner some closure, and scored a massive capture in the process.

Photo: Getty Images

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