A 12-foot-long, 504-pound alligator that allegedly attacked and killed a 71-year-old Louisiana man in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida has been captured with what appeared to be human remains in his stomach, authorities said local.
Timothy Satterlee Sr. went missing on August 30, while checking the contents of a shed at his home in Slidell, Louisiana, as floodwaters flooded the area.
After his wife heard a splash, she discovered that her husband was grabbed in a “death roll” by a huge alligator.
By the time she could intervene, the beast had already ripped off Satterlee’s arm and rendered him unconscious.
She pulled him up to the steps of their house and – without her phone or working 911 – in a desperate move, she climbed into a small boat in search of help.
But when the MPs finally arrived, Satterlee was no longer there.
“She just never thought in her wildest nightmares that she would come back and be gone,” said Lance Vitter, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.
Satterlee’s disappearance sparked a two-week search that ended on Monday after an alligator was trapped near where Satterlee had disappeared, the St. Tammany.
Officers euthanized and opened the alligator, where they discovered “the upper parts of a human body,” according to Vitter.
“Once the alligator was searched, it was discovered that it had what appears to be human remains in its stomach,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Investigators will work with the St Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to verify that these remains belong to Timothy Satterlee. “
The attack occurred the day after Ida made landfall as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States, amid what experts assess as the effects of climate change induced by man, making hurricanes more powerful and more frequent.
The storm hit Louisiana 16 years after Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, Ida causing devastating flooding in areas outside of a new dike and sluice gate system built in the years since tracked Katrina in order to protect New Orleans itself, while leaving areas outside vulnerable. Almost a million people lost electricity, and the intense heat over the next few days was fatal.
Satterlee’s house is not far from an area frequented by tourists who visit the swamps and promise to spot alligators and other wildlife, Vitter said.
Alligators generally don’t attack humans unless the food they tend to hide has been moved, as can happen during major storms, he said.
Satterlee was a mainstay of his community in Slidell, volunteering at the local school and cooking for storm victims, Vitter said.
“It was a hidden gem,” Satterlee’s friend Erik Schneider told the New Orleans Advocate.
“You need a friend, you need a favor, call Mr. Tim. He will be there with whatever you need and whatever he can give you.