Alligators have been found feeding from a human corpse for the second time in a week in Florida, local papers have reported.
Jarvis Deliford was the most recent victim after his severely decomposed body was found surrounded by alligators in the mangroves at the southeast corner of Lake Maggiore, St Petersburg on July 4.
Witnesses say they saw the 16-year-old’s body being chewed and torn apart by multiple gators, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
One of the witnesses, Otis Crawford told ABC Action News WFTS:
I seen the gator chomping on it, so I walked out onto the dock out there, took a video and kind of determined it’s something.
I’m glad I noticed before the gator got the body into the bushes and then nobody would have ever known.
He told the Tampa Bay Times:
It was hard to tell if it was a person or an animal. I got out of the car to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing.
This comes after a 45-year-old man was found just a week earlier in Polk County, having been partially consumed by an alligator.
In both cases it was unclear whether the alligators played a role in the deaths, or whether the victims were already dead before their corpses were mauled, however police have confirmed there are so signs of foul play but they are still waiting for an autopsy report to determine the cause of death.
Jarvis Deliford went missing on June 29, the day he left a juvenile detention facility in Clearwater where he was sent for a probation violation related to a burglary arrest, according to police Lieutenant Matthew Furse.
That evening, the teen cut off his ankle monitor before jumping out a window in his mother’s home and running away. Police have since been trying to work out why he was at the St Petersburg lake.
His sister Laporsha Smalls is convinced someone killed her younger brother. She told the Tampa Bay Times:
Jarvis isn’t an ordinary child. He doesn’t go to beaches, he doesn’t even play around water. He doesn’t know how to swim.
They left him there to die, and to get eaten by alligators.
I’m going to find out who did this to my brother, I can just try to fight to bring whoever did this to justice.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.