Woman's Arm Found Inside Alligator After Disappearing While Walking Dogs

The arm of a Florida woman believed to have been pulled into a lake has been discovered inside the stomach of an alligator.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claim that the arm of Shizuka Matsuki, 47, was discovered inside of a 12-foot, 6-inch alligator that had been captured by trappers on Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park lake in Davie following the woman’s disappearance, according to CBS News.

Days later, on Saturday, law enforcement officials with the FWC announced that they had discovered Matsuki’s body in the lake on Friday night.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Shizuka Matsuki. Search teams located the body of Ms. Matsuki June 8 at the Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park lake in Davie. We will be conducting a thorough investigation into this incident,” the FWC wrote on Twitter.

Matsuki disappeared while walking her two dogs along the edge of the lake, with a witness telling authorities that he had seen Matsuki and looked away, but when he looked back he could no longer see the 47-year-old. The witness stated that he did not see the alligator pull Matsuki into the lake, but her two dogs had been barking towards the water. When authorities found the dogs, still on their leashes, one was suffering fresh wounds.

Encounters with alligators in Florida are not all that uncommon, though they do not frequently result in death or injury. Between 1948 and 2017, 401 unprovoked alligator bites have been reported, with 24 resulting in fatal injuries. The most recent fatal attack occurred in 2016, when two-year-old Lane Graves was pulled into the water by an alligator while playing on the beach at a Walt Disney World Hotel. More frequently, however, alligator encounters occur in peoples’ backyards and go without any reported injuries to either the homeowners or the reptile.

In March, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department posted a video of an 11-foot alligator taking a swim in a family’s pool. A trapper had to come to the residence and safely remove the reptile.

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Months prior, in June, the Cape Coral Police Department shared a video of an alligator on a homeowner’s doorstep. It was believed to have walked from a swampy area to the family’s porch in search of a shady spot to rest.

The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission has stated that the frequent encounters are a result of the state’s growing population, resulting in more frequent alligator-human interactions. According to the FWC, alligators can be found in all 67 counties in Florida.