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Gator kills woman going for nighttime dip in lake

A Georgia woman died after an alligator bit off part of her right arm while she apparently was swimming in a lake.

The body of Michelle Reeves, 20, of Roswell was found floating face-down in a lake Sunday near the Cypress Cove development, Lee County sheriff's spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi said.

The college student's right arm was bitten off at the elbow and she had puncture wounds on her left arm and upper body, LiMarzi said.

Reeves was in Fort Myers with her father visiting her grandparents. She "had made several remarks to her family during the day that she wanted to go swimming in that lake," LiMarzi said Monday.

LiMarzi said Reeves apparently went swimming sometime after 2:30 a.m. Sunday, when family members saw her going to bed.

Her father couldn't find her about 10 a.m. Searching, he found her nightgown near the lake. After calling the Sheriff's Office, he found her body at 11:30 a.m.

An autopsy was planned, LiMarzi said.

An alligator was trapped and removed from the area Sunday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Paula Owens said. She would not release more details.

Reeves is the 15th person known to have died after being attacked by a Florida alligator since record keeping began, and the second victim in just over two months in Lee County.

On July 21, Janie Melsek, 54, was attacked by a 12-foot alligator as she did landscaping work behind a home on Sanibel Island. She died two days later during surgery to fight an infection caused by the multiple bites.

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