A woman was found dead in a Florida retention pond Sunday night, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says her injuries appear to be from an alligator attack.
After 8 p.m. on Independence Day, sheriff’s office divers found the woman in the water behind the Landing Bar & Grill in Valrico, a restaurant less than 20 miles from Tampa, according to the sheriff’s office..
The medical examiner, whose office hasn’t identified the woman’s official cause of death and the sheriff’s office say it’s still investigating.
However, the woman’s family says she was attacked by an alligator. Investigators say alligators frequent the pond where she was found. Relatives told WFLA of Tampa she was 29 years old and swam in the pond often. They said the family is “in grief” following her death.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and alligator trappers have assisted with the investigation, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
“What a tragic ending to the 4th of July holiday for this woman’s family and friends,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I want to thank our local partners for their cooperation with this investigation as we work to learn what led up to her death.”