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Human remains found inside gator suspected in Hurricane Ida attack

The victim’s wife had freed him and went for help, only to return and find him gone, authorities in Louisiana said.
To escape oncoming Hurricane Ida on Aug. 28, evacuees head east from Slidell, La., the community where an alligator is suspected of killing a 71-year-old man after the storm blew through.
To escape oncoming Hurricane Ida on Aug. 28, evacuees head east from Slidell, La., the community where an alligator is suspected of killing a 71-year-old man after the storm blew through. [ STAFF PHOTO BY SCOTT THRELKELD | AP ]
Published Sep. 15

A massive alligator suspected of attacking and killing a man as he waded through floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ida has been caught, according to officials in southeast Louisiana.

Authorities trapped the animal — a scaly beast measuring 12 feet and weighing 504 pounds — on Monday morning in the area of Avery Estates in Slidell, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. Nuisance hunters and agents with the U.S. and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also helped with the capture.

Once caught, the gator was found to have “what appears to be human remains” in its gut, according to deputies.

Officials had spotted the gator in a waterway near where it’s believed to have attacked “and apparently killed” 71-year-old Timothy Satterlee Sr. last month, one day after Hurricane Ida ripped through the region.

Satterlee’s wife said she was in their home when she heard a “commotion” outside, McClatchy News reported, citing a police report. She ran outside to find a “large alligator attacking her husband” and tried wrestling him from the grips of the animal’s jaws.

She pulled him from the water and onto the front steps of their home, where she left him and went to seek help. When she returned, he was gone.

“This is a horrible tragedy and my sincere condolences and sympathy goes to the Satterlee family,” St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said in a statement Monday. “I know today’s findings (do) not bring their loved one back, but hopefully this can bring them some sort of closure.”

The parish coroner’s office will work to determine if the remains found in the alligator are Satterlee’s.

“We will continue to keep them in our prayers,” Smith added.

- Tanasia Kenney, The Charlotte Observer

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