Alligators are massive creatures with powerful jaws and sharp teeth, which they use to subdue, kill, and eat their prey. If they come across an intruder in their murky swamps, alligators will not hesitate to use their deadly weapons to protect themselves. But in Barefoot Bay, a stunning turn of events has seemingly turned an alligator into a judicial executioner.
Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Riggins of Palm Bay tried to escape pursuing officers in a Barefoot Bay pond, but something happened to him that was, unfortunately, much worse than being caught. According to Brevard County deputies, Riggins was attacked and killed by an 11-foot alligator.
On November 13, Riggins was reported to be missing. After 10 days, Riggins’s corpse was discovered near a pond in Barefoot Circle and Latan Court in Barefoot Bay, floating lifelessly. Forensic investigators reported that the lifeless body had irrefutable evidence of a gator attack.
Riggins was said to have been making phone calls to his girlfriend before he was reported missing. According Brevard County sheriff Maj. Tod Goodyear, Riggins told her girlfriend that he would be burglarizing the area along with a companion.
Residents then began to call the authorities, saying that there are two men sneaking behind houses and that they’re dressed in black. Deputies responded to the reports and began to investigate the area. They were joined by K-9 units, a sheriff’s helicopter, and more deputies.
According to investigators, Riggins once again called his girlfriend and told her that they were lying low because police officers were after them. Deputies were unable to find Riggins, so they decided to abort the search that evening. However, Riggins’s family filed a missing person report less than a day later.
Goodyear mentioned that it was quite probable that Riggins decided to hide in the lake to get away from the dog and the officers. But Riggins found an even more terrifying creature instead.
The same alligator was found by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office dive team during their task to retrieve Riggins’s corpse. Unfortunately, a trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had no choice but to euthanize the animal. The medical examiner found evidence about Riggins’s death inside the belly of the beast.
The other man who was said to be Riggins’s accomplice hasn’t complied with the police yet, but there are no charges against him thus far.