List of fatal alligator attacks in the United States

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This is a list of fatal alligator attacks in the United States in reverse chronological order by decade. All occurred in the Southeast, where alligators are endemic to wetlands and tidal marshes.


Name, age, sex Date Location and comments
Cassandra Cline, 45, female August 20, 2018 Dragged to her death while walking her dog near a golf course in the gated community of Sea Pines in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Witnesses said Cline was attempting to protect her dog when the alligator pulled her into a lagoon. The dog was unharmed.[1]
Shizuka Matsuki, 47, female June 8, 2018 Dragged to her death and dismembered while walking dogs at the Silver Lake Rotary Nature Park in Davie, Florida.[2]
Bonnie Walker, 90, female July 29, 2016 Walker's body was found in a retention pond near Brookdale Senior Living Center in Charleston, South Carolina. According to coroners, she died from "multiple sharp and blunt force injuries" that are consistent with those inflicted by an alligator.[3]
Lane Graves, 2, male June 14, 2016 An alligator snatched the 2-year-old boy and dragged him under water in the Seven Seas Lagoon on the evening of June 14, 2016, between 9 and 9:15 p.m. at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in the Magic Kingdom resort area section in Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida just outside of Orlando, Florida. His father tried to rescue him, but was reportedly attacked by a second alligator and forced to flee. His mother also witnessed the attack and tried to save him. Lane's four-year-old sister also witnessed the attack. The Orange County Sheriff's office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conducted a search and recovery effort to locate the boy's body, which was recovered on June 15, 2016, at approximately 1:45 p.m.[4][5][6]

His body, which was intact, was found about 10-15 yards away from the location of the attack. It is believed that he was drowned by the alligator, which was 4–7 feet long. It took authorities about 17 hours to find and recover the body.[7]

As a result of the incident, the Lane Thomas Foundation was created. The funds received from donations on behalf of the foundation are donated directly to charitable organizations.[8][9]

Richard Zachary Taylor, 72, male on or about June 5, 2016 Police recovered Taylor's body after a report of an alligator with a body in its mouth near Lake Hunter in Lakeland, Florida. A trapper responded a short time later and eventually caught the alligator. Detectives do not know whether Taylor drowned or was killed by the reptile. His body was decomposed, indicating he had been in the water a couple of days or longer. Remains found inside the alligator during a necropsy were a match to Taylor.[10]
Matthew Riggins, 22, male on or about November 13, 2015 A police dive team found the victim's body in a pond in Micco, Florida Barefoot Bay community in Brevard County ten days after he was reported missing. Riggins, who had been burglarizing homes in the area, was attacked and partially eaten by an 11-foot (3.4 meters) alligator.[11][12]
James Okkerse, 62, male October 19, 2015 Okkerse was killed while swimming/snorkeling by a 12-foot (3.7 meters) alligator at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City, Florida. The final cause of death was determined by the Volusia County medical examiner's office in consultation with a forensic odontologist from a neighboring county who specializes in animal bites.[13][14][15]
Tommie Woodward, 28, male July 3, 2015 Woodward suffered severe trauma to a limb and was drowned by an alligator that attacked him at a marina in Orange County, Texas. Warning signs had been posted after the alligator had been spotted in the water, but Woodward ignored the signs and his friends' pleas not to swim; he reportedly taunted the alligator before jumping in.[16]


Name, age, sex Date Location and comments
Justo Padron, 36, male November 13, 2007 A man fleeing police by jumping into a retention pond adjacent to the Miccosukee Resort and Convention Center was killed by a 9-foot 3-inch (2.8 m) alligator, according to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's office. Padron and an accomplice were suspected of breaking into cars in the parking lot of the resort, located at 500 SW 177th Avenue in southwest Miami-Dade County, when police closed in.[17][18][19]
Gwen Williams, 83, female October 5, 2007 The body of this Canadian woman, who had been house sitting for her daughter, was spotted floating in a lagoon 500 feet (200 m) behind her daughter's house by a couple riding by in a golf cart at The Landings on Skidaway Island, a development east of Savannah, Georgia. Autopsy results and an examination of the stomach contents during a necropsy of the animal suspected of killing her conclusively established that she had been attacked and killed by an 8-foot (2.5 m) alligator.[20][21][22]
Annemarie Campbell, 23, female May 14, 2006 Her body was pulled out of an alligator's mouth by friends and relatives in a springhead at Juniper Wayside Park in the Ocala National Forest near Lake George in Marion County, Florida. She had been attacked while snorkeling. Autopsy results confirmed that Campbell died from drowning and multiple blunt-force injuries including lacerations on her head, neck and upper torso, and multiple rib fractures. Officials later captured and killed an 11-foot 4-inch (3.5 m), 407 pound alligator that they were able to positively identify as the one that attacked Campbell due to scratches around its eyes that she inflicted while attempting to defend herself.[23][24][25][26]
Judy W. Cooper, 43, female May 14, 2006 Her body was found in a canal near Oldsmar in Pinellas County, Florida, 20 miles (30 km) north of St. Petersburg. She had been in the water for about three days. Preliminary autopsy results indicated a fatal alligator attack. Her arm and hand were later recovered from an 8.5-foot (2.6 m) alligator.[23][25][26]
Yovy Suarez Jiménez, 28, female May 10, 2006 Construction workers found her dismembered body on this date floating in a canal between Markham County Park and State Road 84 in Sunrise, Florida. Authorities later captured the 9' 6" (3 m) alligator that killed her during her nightly jog on May 9 when she stopped to dangle her feet in the water of the canal. Officials were able to verify this because both her arms were found in the digestive tract of the animal during the necropsy. The Broward County medical examiner concluded that she was attacked on land and dragged into the canal.[23][25][26][27]
Kevin Albert Murray, 41, male July 15, 2005 He was killed while swimming in the Apollo waterway in Port Charlotte, Florida by a 12' 2" (3.7 m) alligator.[27][28][29]
Don Owen, 56, male March 15, 2005 Fishermen discovered Owen's body about 12 miles (19 km) from his Lakeland, Florida home. He had been missing since March 9. Trappers later caught an 8' 9" (2.7 m) alligator and recovered some of Owen's body parts.[27]
Michelle Reeves, 20, female September 26, 2004 She was killed by a 7' 11" (2.4 m) alligator while swimming in a retention pond at Lee Memorial Health Park in Lee County, Florida.[27][29]
Janie Melsek, 54, female June 21, 2004 She was attacked by a 12' 3" (3.7 m) alligator while working on landscaping along Poinciana Circle Sanibel, Florida. She later died in surgery from an infection acquired from being in the water with open wounds.[27][29][30]
Brian Griffin, 12, male June 18, 2003 He was killed by a 10' 4" (3.1 m) alligator while swimming in the Dead River near a boat ramp; the river connects Lakes Harris and Eustis in Lake County, Florida.[27][29][31]
Robert Steele, 81, male September 11, 2001 He was attacked by an alligator while walking his dog on a trail between two wetland areas near the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel, Florida. Steele bled to death after his leg was bitten off below the knee.[27][29]
Alexandria Murphy, 2, female June 23, 2001 She wandered away from her fenced back yard and was killed 700 feet from her home on Lake Cannon in Winter Haven, Florida.[27][29]
Samuel Wetmore, 70, male May 4, 2001 He was killed in a pond near his residence in Venice, Sarasota County, Florida by an 8' 4" (2.5 m) alligator. Wetmore suffered from dementia and had wandered from his home.[27][29]


Name, age, sex Date Location and comments
Adam Binford, 3, male March 21, 1997 He was killed by an 11-foot (3.4 m) alligator after straying outside a roped-off area in Lake Ashby, Volusia County, Florida. Wildlife officials shot the alligator, which was still holding the lifeless body of the boy 20 hours later.[27][29]
Grace Eberhart, 70, female October 3, 1993 She was killed by one or more alligators at Lake Serenity, Sumter County, Florida. She died of a broken neck caused by an alligator bite to the throat and head.[27][29]
Bradley Weidenhamer, 10, male June 19, 1993 He was killed while wading in the Loxahatchee River at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County, Florida.[27][29]


Name, age, sex Date Location and comments
Erin Glover, 4, female June 4, 1988 She was killed while walking along the shore of Hidden Lake, Charlotte County, Florida.[27][29]
George Cummings III, 22, male July 13, 1987 He was killed while snorkeling in the Wakulla Springs State Park, Wakulla County, Florida by an 11-foot (3.4 m) alligator.[27][29]
Paul Mirabito, 27, male May 4, 1985 He was killed while diving and harassing small alligators in a canal near West Palm Beach, Florida.[32]
Robert Crespo, 11, male August 6, 1984 He was killed by a 12' 4" (3.8 m) alligator while swimming in a canal in St. Lucie County, Florida.[27][29]


Name, age, sex Date Location and comments
Phillip Rastrelli, 14, male September 10, 1978 He was killed while swimming across the Hidden River Canal off Bessie Creek in Martin County, Florida.[27][29]
George Leonard, 52, male September 28, 1977 He was killed while swimming in the Peace River Canal, Charlotte County, Florida.[27][29]
Mark Wasson, 6, male September 3, 1977 Fell into a pit at the Miami Serpentarium, Miami, Florida and was killed by an African crocodile. This incident later caused the farm's closure.
Sharon Holmes, 16, female August 16, 1973 She was killed while swimming at the Oscar Scherer State Park, Sarasota County, Florida, by an 11' 3" (3.4 m) alligator.[27][29]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Kats, Rachael (August 20, 2018). "Woman killed in apparent alligator attack would be first in South Carolina in decades". ABC News. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Caron, Christina (June 9, 2018). "Body of Woman Attacked by an Alligator Is Found in Florida". New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  3. ^ "Alligator involved in 90-year-old's death". Fox News. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  4. ^ "Florida police search for child who was attacked by alligator at Disney resort". Fox News. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  5. ^ "Child dragged into water by alligator near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa". WESH. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  6. ^ "Dad says 2 gators involved in Disney attack that killed son". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. July 3, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  7. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott C. (2016-06-16). "Disney gator attack: 2-year-old Nebraska boy found dead". Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  8. ^ "Lane Thomas Foundation". Omaha Gives!. Omaha Community Foundation. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Quinn, Dave (June 21, 2016). "Parents of 2-Year-Old Killed by Alligator at Disney Resort Set up Memorial Foundation: 'Losing Lane Has Broken Our Hearts in the Worst Possible Way'". People. Time Inc. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 12, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Suspected Burglar Killed By Alligator While Hiding From Police In A Pond". Yahoo News. December 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "Police: Burglary suspect hiding in lake eaten by alligator". CBS News. December 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Balona, Patricio (October 20, 2015). "Man dies during swim in Blue Springs' 12-foot gator shot". Daytona Beach News-Journal.
  14. ^ "Gator may have killed swimmer at Blue Spring State Park". Central Florida News 13. October 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "Medical examiner confirms alligator killed Blue Spring swimmer". Daytona Beach News-Journal.
  16. ^ "Man killed by giant 11ft alligator after ignoring warning signs and jumping into Texas bayou TAUNTED the beast before leaping into the water". Daily Mail. July 4, 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  17. ^ Gla,sser, Eric (November 13, 2007). "South Florida burglary suspect killed in gator attack".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "'Aggressive' Gator Kills Burglary Suspect". Associated Press. November 13, 2007. Archived from the original on November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  19. ^ "Alligator's jaws catch suspect in Florida lake". The Seattle Times. November 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  20. ^ Gay, Daryl (October 23, 2007). "Woman Killed By Alligator in Georgia's First Recorded Fatal Attack". Georgia Outdoor News. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  21. ^ Bynum, Russ (October 9, 2007). "Autopsy shows elderly woman killed by alligator attack". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  22. ^ "Canadian woman killed in Georgia alligator attack". CanWest News Service. October 10, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  23. ^ a b c Lemonick, Michael D. (May 21, 2006). "Death by Alligator". Time Magazine.
  24. ^ "Fla. Officials Capture Killer Alligator". May 19, 2006. Archived from the original on May 6, 2008.
  25. ^ a b c "Friends Find 23-Year-Old Woman Dead in Alligator's Jaws". May 15, 2006. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008.
  26. ^ a b c "Florida Marks 3rd Fatal Alligator Attack In A Week". May 14, 2006.[dead link]
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Southeastern Outdoors, Fatal Alligator Attacks". Retrieved 2006-03-31.
  28. ^ Bakalar, Nicholas (September 12, 2005). "Human-Alligator Encounters Rising in Southeast U.S." National Geographic News. Retrieved 2006-03-31.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Alligator attacks: Fact sheet" (PDF). Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. pp. 4–5. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2011. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  30. ^ "Woman Attacked by 12-Foot Alligator Dies In Surgery". Archived from the original on 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2006-04-12.
  31. ^ "Boy Killed in Florida Gator Attack". CBS News. June 19, 2003. Retrieved 2006-04-12.
  32. ^ "Historic Alligator Bites on Humans in Florida" (PDF). Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. July 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-05.


External links[edit]