A "badly decomposed" body was discovered in a Florida lake Thursday, according to police, with witnesses claiming they saw a swarm of alligators dragging it into the water.
The body was found in Lake Maggiore’s mangroves in St. Petersburg at around 8 a.m., according to reports.
“We’re unable to tell anything about it — gender or race or anything,” St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said.
Otis Crawford and his partner Patricia Kays, St. Petersburg residents, told the Tampa Bay Times they were near the lake eating breakfast when they saw about 10 alligators dragging the body through the water.
“I saw an alligator take a chunk out of [the body], throw it up in the air and catch it and eat it,” Kays told the paper. “I had to go back to the car after that. I couldn’t watch it anymore.”
Crawford told ABC Action News: “I seen the gator chomping on it. So I walked out onto the dock out there, took a video and kind of determined it’s something. I’m glad I noticed before the gator got the body into the bushes and then nobody would have ever known."
St. Petersburg Fire Rescue removed the body from the lake and a search of the water for any personal belongings came up empty.
Police were still investigating the incident and stopped short of calling it an alligator attack, according to FOX13 News.
“At this time we cannot call it an alligator attack -- simply that there were alligators around the body when we found it and that made it a little more difficult in getting to it,” Fernandez said.