DAVIE, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — Police say they’ve found the body of a 47-year-woman who was the victim of an apparent alligator attack in South Florida.
A witness told authorities he saw Shizuka Matsuki on Friday walking her dogs near a lake in Davie, a suburb just north of Miami.
Shortly after, the witness claimed he spotted the dogs alone and barking near the water.
Wildlife officials later captured a 12 and a half foot gator from the lake, and a necropsy confirmed the animal had human remains inside its stomach.
Residents say the park is very popular. People go there to exercise, walk their dogs, and picnic. There are two lakes at the park and authorities say the attack happened in what is referred to as the North Lake.
Edwin Gomez says he’s at the park nearly every day.
“I saw the gator yesterday. A gator responds to a human in a natural way. It’s sad to hear someone got hit by the gator,” he said.
The park is surrounded by homes.
Maria Raeaoso, whose home sits on one of two lakes in the park, says her poodle disappeared last year and she wonders if a gator is to blame. Despite signs posted saying no swimming, neighbors say it’s not unusual to see kids splashing in the lake. “It’s very sad. You see boys swimming in the canal,” said Raeaoso.
The last deadly gator attack in South Florida happened 12 years ago when a 28-year-old woman was attacked while jogging along a path in Sunrise.