Dead body, 13-foot alligator found in Florida waterway, officials say

Human remains were recovered from a Florida waterway where authorities also found and killed a nearly 14-foot alligator on Friday, officials said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating after the gator, clocking in at 13 feet and 8.5 inches, was spotted in a waterway in unincorporated Largo, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area, and the body of a woman was pulled from the water.

She was identified as 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham, and officials said her cause of death is still under investigation.

Deputies responded around 1:50 p.m. to a report of a body seen in the water, the sheriff's office said in a news release. The deputies and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission euthanized the alligator and removed it from the waterway.

One witness told a local news station that the alligator was seen with the body before going into the water.

Jamarcus Bullard told the news station WFLA he saw the gator "holding on to the lower part of the torso" of the body and pulling it underwater.

“I never thought I’d see one out here,” Bullard said. “I thought it would be in the swamps and all that, but it was a big gator out here in our water.”

The gator's size approaches some of the largest alligators by length recorded in Florida since 1977, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The record for longest alligator in the state is a 14-foot, 3.5-inch male from Lake Washington in Brevard County found in 2010.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said it had no further information to provide when reached by USA TODAY on Saturday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Human remains found, large alligator killed in Florida waterway