WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A man who had been partially eaten by an alligator in Polk County earlier this year died from a meth overdose, not a gator attack, the medical examiner confirmed.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as 45-year-old Michael Ford II of Wauchula, whose body was found floating in a canal on Mosaic land on June 27.
When a Mosaic employee discovered Ford's body, the sheriff's office said a large alligator had a part of his body in its mouth. By the time first responders arrived, the gator had let go.
Ford's initial apparent cause of death was drowning, pending toxicology results, and investigators said he had lacerations and other injuries on his body because of the alligator.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials trapped and killed the alligator in order to perform a necropsy.
The sheriff's office said Ford's hand and foot were found inside the gator's stomach.
An autopsy report obtained by FOX 13 showed that Ford actually died from a drug overdose.
"It is my opinion that Michael Glenn Ford II died as a result of methamphetamine intoxication. The manner of his death is accident," the district medical examiner's report said. "The decedent's injuries and amputations lack sufficient associated bleeding to suggest they were made alive."
FWC officer Ashley Tyer said the alligator was nearly 12 feet long and weighed about 450 pounds.
"That can do a lot of damage. It is definitely a large gator," Tyer said.