LARGO, Fla. - As Florida trappers search for the gator involved in the suspected attack and death of a 47-year-old man in a Largo lake, officials said they have captured and euthanized two alligators so far – but neither are connected to the death investigation.
The body of Sean Thomas McGuinness was found around 8 a.m. Tuesday in Taylor Lake. According to Largo police, they believe he was looking for golf discs in the lake that's located off of 8th Avenue Southwest inside John S. Taylor Park.
While the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, police say it was apparent that McGuinness suffered injuries related to alligators in the lake. Detectives believe this occurred in the nighttime hours as McGuinness did not appear to have been in the lake for a long period of time before he was discovered Tuesday morning.
According to park management, McGuinness was known to frequent the park and enter the lake with disregard to the posted "No Swimming" signs.
A witness also told detectives that McGuinness was known to sell discs back to people within the park as the park is equipped with a disc golf course and McGuinness was found within a few feet of a disc in the water.
Pictured: Sean McGuinness
In a statement to FOX 13, Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said the two alligators were 8 feet and 10 feet long, but initial necropsies showed "no evidence of their involvement with the deceased."
They said trappers are continuing to monitor for additional alligators in the area.
Signs warning visitors to avoid swimming due to the presence of alligators are posted around the lake. Neighbors say sightings are a daily occurrence.
"I took my son for a walk today, and we’ve seen eight of them moving around," said Paul Demeo. "I believe it’s mating season right now."
Demeo says he plays disc golf in Taylor Park almost daily. The lake-side course is extremely popular. Disc golf players explain discs can easily end up in the lake on some parts of the course. He said people are often seen wading into the lake to look for errantly thrown discs.
Pictured: Sean McGuinness in water a short time ago.
"I’ve seen a guy just in swimming shorts collecting these discs," said Demeo. "I asked him why he does it he says it’s for the money. $25 or $35 a disc."
Two years ago, a man who was looking for discs in the same lake survived being bitten by an alligator on his face and hand.