A Florida man is dead after authorities say he chose the wrong place to hide. The Daily Mail reports that 22-year-old Matthew Riggins was eaten by an Alligator while he was trying to evade arrest in a bizarre chain of events that all began when allegedly decided to commit burglaries in the area where his body was ultimately found.
The unlucky man’s girlfriend claims that he was in the area of Barefoot Bay to commit robberies the night he was almost arrested by authorities. The woman said that he called her after he believed police were after him, warning her that he would be laying low for the rest of the night. However, “laying low” must have involved hiding near the water of a low part of the Barefoot Bay Pond, which is where an alligator was waiting.
Authorities believe the Florida man hid in the water of the pond to evade being detected by police and their dogs after they were alerted to suspicions persons lurking in the neighborhood. Hiding in the water was a poor choice for the man, who was presumably greeted by the 11-foot-long alligator. Matthew Riggins was no match for the massive creature, which apparently drowned him so it could feast on his remains.
This gruesome event was discovered after the Florida man was reported missing by his family. An investigation led authorities to the pond, where his body was found floating, partially devoured by the alligator that swam around it, guarding it. The alligator was euthanized and authorities discovered the remains belonging to Matthew Riggins inside of the animal, proving that he had been consumed by it.
— WPTV (@WPTV) December 8, 2015
The Orlando Sentinel reports that an alleged accomplice, who was with Riggins the night he was at Barefoot Bay, has been identified. Authorities say the man is refusing to cooperate with the investigation; however, it is not known at this time if the man is being charged with any crimes. The report also reveals that this is the second alligator-related death in the area this year. The first was in October, when a 61-year-old man was attacked while swimming. Although only two gator-related deaths were reported this year, many have been reported in the media over the years. In more gruesome stories, the remains of murdered people are reportedly given to gators to conceal the crimes that have been committed. One such case involves the man known as Joe Ball, aka “The Alligator Man.” Ball reportedly killed numerous women, feeding their bodies to gators. As for this latest case involving Florida man Matthew Riggins, social media is taking interest in what happened. Discussion on Twitter appears to share the same level of interest, with a lot of laughs being had at the expense of Riggins.
@BillyCorben and kids, that’s why you don’t steal.
— Justin Tramble (@JustinTramble) December 7, 2015
Even residents of the area where the Florida man met his demise are making wisecracks about what happened. One resident, named Chuck Stotes, provided a comment to media reporters.
“I would say it’s poetic justice. You want to sit there and steal from people.”
This story could serve as a warning to other people who plan on committing robberies in regions home to gators, according to many comments being made on social media. The overall warning could be to watch which bodies of water you climb into in states like Florida, where Alligators are known to exist.
[Image via Brevard County Sheriff’s Dept.]