DAVIE, Fla. — Authorities confirmed Saturday morning that they had found the remains of a woman killed by an alligator in Davie, Florida.
Search teams discovered the body of Shizuka Matsuki about 10 p.m. Friday in a lake at the Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park, said Rob Klepper, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Matsuki, 47, of Plantation, Florida, disappeared Friday morning while walking beside the lake. A necropsy performed on a 12-foot, 6-inch alligator captured in the lake in Davie indicated the woman was bitten by the animal, Klepper said.
CNN affiliate WSVN reported that police said a witness saw the woman walking her dogs near SW 52nd Avenue in the nature park. The witness told police the woman was gone the next time she looked, but the dogs were still there, the TV station said.
One of the animals had a fresh wound, WSVN said. The dogs didn’t want to leave the lake and were being cared for by Broward County Animal Care and Adoption, WSVN said.
Aerial photos from the TV station showed a large alligator swimming in the water.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Shizuka Matsuki,” Klepper said Saturday. “We will be conducting a thorough investigation into this incident.”
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, the state has averaged five unprovoked alligator bites yearly since 1948. Twenty-two bites have resulted in death, the agency said. Alligators can be found in all 67 counties.
In a well-publicized attack in June 2016, a 2-year-old boy died after an alligator pulled him into a lagoon near a Walt Disney World hotel.