The two law enforcement agencies tasked with leading an investigation into yesterday’s fatal alligator attack in Sun City, South Carolina have issued a joint statement on the tragedy.
“Officials believe Ms. Becker was gardening near the pond and slipped into the water, where the alligator was located,” the joint statement noted.
The alligator – a nine-foot, eight-inch male – was removed from the pond and euthanized.
As noted in yesterday’s coverage, Beaufort deputies, SCDNR agents and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel were dispatched to Sun City not long after receiving a 9-1-1 call placed at approximately 11:15 a.m. EDT.
That call referenced “a large alligator near the edge of a pond in the Sun City community guarding what was believed to be a person.”
Sun City is a massive planned, retirement community located off of Interstate 95 approximately 12 miles west of Hilton Head Island, S.C. and 20 miles northwest of Savannah, Georgia. Situated on the border of Beaufort and Jasper counties, it is home to an estimated 10,000 people – all of whom are over the age of 55.
Upon arrival at the scene, EMS personnel “located the alligator as well as a deceased person.”
News of the attack was first reported by Stephen Ardary of WCSC TV-5 (CBS – Charleston, S.C.). Initial witness reports published by The (Hilton Head, S.C.) Island Packet claimed victim had been walking her dog prior to the attack – although investigators now believe those reports to have been inaccurate.
Becker’s death is the fifth fatality attributed to an alligator attack since 2000, according to the release. There have been thirteen other non-fatal attacks since 2000.
“The five deaths occurred in Charleston County in 2016, Beaufort County in 2018, Charleston County in 2020, Horry County in 2022 and now Beaufort County in 2022,” the statement noted.
According to SCDNR, South Carolina is home to an estimated 100,000 alligators – most of them located in the Palmetto Lowcountry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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