Meth OD Killed Florida Man, Not Alligator

Victim, 45, found inside 11-foot reptile's mouth

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Alligator Autopsy

DECEMBER 12--The deceased Florida Man whose partially eaten body was discovered in the mouth of an alligator died from a methamphetamine overdose before the 11-foot reptile discovered him in a canal in Polk County, according to an autopsy report

In a related development, voting has closed for the 2019 Floridian of the Year award.

In late-June, the body of Michael Ford, 45, was found floating in the water on a Fort Meade property owned by a mining company. Part of Ford’s body was in the mouth of a 449-pound alligator, who was subsequently trapped and killed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agents.

At the time Ford’s body was discovered, officials were unsure about the cause of his death. Investigators initially speculated that Ford, who did not work for the mining firm, drowned.

However, an autopsy released yesterday concluded that Ford died from accidental “methamphetamine intoxication” and that his corpse was subsequently set upon by the alligator (seen above). A necropsy revealed that Ford’s left hand and right foot were inside the alligator’s stomach.

The autopsy report does not address how Ford ended up in the canal on the fenced property (though a vehicle believed to have been driven by Ford was found nearby).

Ford, who lived in Frostproof, a Polk County city, is pictured above in a mug shot taken ten days before his death. He had been arrested for burglary and grand theft auto and was freed on $6000 bond. Ford’s rap sheet also includes a 2018 felony conviction for meth possession. (3 pages)