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Florida Man Eaten By 32-Stone Alligator Actually Died From Meth Overdose

by : Lucy Connolly on : 13 Dec 2019 09:45
Florida Man Eaten By 32-Stone Alligator Actually Died From Meth OverdoseFlorida Man Eaten By 32-Stone Alligator Actually Died From Meth OverdosePolk County Sheriff's Office

A man from Florida, whose body was discovered inside the stomach of a 32-stone alligator, actually died from a meth overdose, authorities have confirmed.

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The remains of Michael Ford, 45, were discovered face down in a canal on the grounds of the Mosaic phosphate mine in Polk County on June 28.

A large alligator, which appeared to have a human body part in its mouth, was also discovered in the vicinity – leading the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to trap and kill the reptile.

alligator eats manalligator eats manPolk County Sheriff's Office

According to the Commission, the alligator was nearly 12ft long and weighed approximately 450lbs, with an autopsy of the animal revealing one of Ford’s hands and one of his feet were inside of its stomach.

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Polk County Sheriff’s Office investigators theorised at the time the man might have drowned before the alligator began eating his remains, which has now been confirmed.

District Medical Examiner Stephen Nelson wrote in an autopsy report, obtained by NBC News:

It is my opinion that Michael Glenn Ford II died as a result of a methamphetamine intoxication. The manner of death is accident.

man found in alligators bodyman found in alligators bodyPolk County Sheriff's Office

Ford had been convicted of methamphetamine possession in 2018, and just 10 days before he was found dead the 45-year-old had been arrested for burglary and grand theft auto. He had been freed on a $6,000 bond.

The autopsy report noted the ‘traumatic’ amputations Ford’s body had suffered, including at his left forearm and right foot. Nelson found those injuries were likely postmortem. ‘The decedent’s injuries and amputations lack sufficient associated blood to suggest they were made while alive,’ according to Nelson’s report.

Ford was naked when he was discovered, but officials said his clothes were not found at his nearby car or at the scene. He had also been missing for four days before his remains were discovered, with authorities saying his friends and family hadn’t seen him since June 23.

man eaten by alligatorman eaten by alligatorPolk County Sheriff's Office
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An employee at the Mosaic phosphate mine alerted authorities to Ford’s body, although it was unclear as to why the 45-year-old had been on the grounds in the first place.

Ford was not an employee of Mosaic, and while it’s not uncommon for locals to trespass on the grounds to fish, the man’s father said he had never fished in his life. His truck was also found on company property.

Rest in peace, Michael. Our thoughts are with Michael’s loved ones at this difficult time.

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.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Animals, Alligators, America, Death, drug overdose, Drugs, Florida

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NBC News
  1. NBC News

    Florida man died from meth overdose before he was eaten by alligator