SLIDELL, La. -- An alligator that is believed to have killed a Louisiana man during the aftermath of Hurricane Ida last month has been found with human remains in its stomach, officials said.
Ida made landfall Aug. 29 near Grand Isle, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds. The storm also dumped heavy rain on southeast Louisiana as it came ashore.
Investigators at the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said they began investigating the Slidell man’s disappearance after his wife reported seeing an alligator attacking her 71-year-old husband in floodwaters left by Ida. The wife told investigators that she was able to drag her husband back to dry ground after the attack stopped. She said she went to get help, but her husband was gone when she returned.
According to a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, investigators have been searching the area around the missing man’s house ever since his disappearance. They spotted a large alligator in the area over the weekend, and trappers were able to capture it Monday morning.
Investigators said they examined the hulking 12-foot, 504-pound reptile and found human remains in its stomach. Those remains are being examined to determine if they belong to the missing man.
"This is a horrible tragedy and my sincere condolences and sympathy goes to the Satterlee family," St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said in the post. "I know todays findings does not bring their loved one back, but hopefully this can bring them some sort of closure."
Investigators said they were assisted by U. S. Fish and Wildlife agents, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents, Louisiana Search and Rescue and licensed nuisance hunters.