ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - St. Pete police are asking for help figuring out what happened to a teen whose body was found surrounded by alligators.
On July 4, the body of 16-year-old Jarvis Deliford was located in Lake Maggiore by people spending their morning at the adjacent park. First responders had to carefully move the body to a safe location, and away from the alligators in the area.
Police said there were no signs of foul play but are trying to find out where he was or who he was with on June 29, the day he was released from juvenile detention and the last day he was seen.
Deliford's mother, Regina Wooten, says while she's trusting police to do their job – a mother's instinct tells her this was no accident.
"My child was murdered, My child was killed," Wooten told FOX 13. "Someone threw my child to those gators and they knew exactly what they [were] doing."
Wooten says she's certain someone saw or knows something. She's begging them to come forward with information.
"They can call in and leave tips, they do not have to leave their name. Call in! Step up," She said.
Police said Deliford's death is still considered as suspicious, but they are waiting for an autopsy to be completed. There were no signs of "homicidal violence."
Investigators initially said there were "signs of alligator involvement," but it is too early to tell whether it occurred before or after the death of the teen.
Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780.