SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) — Sheriff’s deputies said they have captured an alligator suspected of attacking a Louisiana man in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
They worked with U.S. and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents to trap the 12-foot, 504-pound alligator near the Avery Estates neighborhood of Slidell.
It was near the location where Timothy Satterlee Sr. went missing on Monday, Aug. 30, one day after Hurricane Ida hit South Louisiana, creating destruction and widespread flooding across the region.
“This is a horrible tragedy and my sincere condolences and sympathy goes to the Satterlee family,” St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said in a statement. “I know today’s findings does not bring their loved one back, but hopefully this can bring them some sort of closure.”
Satterlee’s wife told authorities that her husband, who is retired, was trying to repair storm-related damage on Aug. 30 and had gone under his home to get some tools when she heard a commotion.
She said she ran outside just in time to see the reptile attack Satterlee, tearing one of his arms from his body. She said she ran to get help and when she got back there was no sign of him.
Officers with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division, along with State and Federal partners, had been working since the reported attack to find Satterlee or the alligator.
Sheriff Smith said Tuesday that U.S. Wildlife agents finally observed a large alligator in a waterway near where the incident occurred. Deputies and agents, with the assistance of two Louisiana Department of Wildlife licensed nuisance hunters, Phillip Andy McClurkan and Eric Dumas, set traps to catch the alligator.
Deputies reported finding what appeared to be human remains inside the animal’s stomach.
“I am very proud of the hard, non-stop work, of my deputies and the other agencies who assisted, and I hope their persistence in finding this alligator will help the family with coping with their loss,” said Sheriff Smith. “We will continue to keep them in our prayers.”
An official identification is pending a full investigation by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.