Crime

Police: Burglary Suspect Attacked By Alligator While Evading Police, Dies

| by Emily Smith
Left: Matthew Riggins, Right: alligatorLeft: Matthew Riggins, Right: alligator

Florida man Matthew Riggins, 22, was eaten by an 11-foot alligator on Nov. 23 after allegedly attempting to burglarize a Brevard County, Florida, home, police said.

According to authorities, Riggins told his girlfriend on Nov. 13 that he and another man were going to burglarize homes in the Barefoot Bay area. That same day, the two were seen by a witness and police were called, the Associated Press reports.

“Dispatch got a call from a resident that said they saw two males in all black walking behind residencies,” Maj. Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said, according to WFTV.

Riggins and the other man reportedly hid in the woods after police were called. Riggins was never found alive.

When Riggins didn’t return home, he was reported missing to the Palm Bay Police Department the next day.

Riggins' body was recovered nearby on Nov. 23, after a dive team encountered an 11-foot alligator in the vicinity. Riggins' injuries were reportedly consistent with an alligator attack, and he had drowned. Florida Fish and Wildlife then captured the alligator and euthanized it.

“So at that point, we had a belief that he was probably attacked by the alligator when he was trying to get away from police,” Goodyear said, WFTV notes.

Riggins’ accomplice has since been captured, although he has reportedly refused to cooperate with investigators.

Sources: WFTVAP via ABC News / Photo Credit: Brevard County Sheriff's Office via WFTV, Bay News 9