A spokeswoman for the Largo Police Department said that when McGuinness was found in Taylor Lake last week, “he was observed to be missing three limbs.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say they are still investigating the 47-year-old’s death, but it’s likely the alligator or alligators involved in the attack are still in Taylor Lake.
“A contracted nuisance alligator trapper removed two alligators from the area,” FWC said in a statement. “Subsequent surveillance efforts revealed no additional large alligators in the immediate area and removal efforts have been suspended. While the initial field necropsy didn’t reveal evidence, the investigation is ongoing.”
Steve Sperry tells WFLA that he often saw McGuinness in the water at Taylor Lake. Last week it was confirmed the man had previously been warned multiple times to stay out of the water. It’s believed he often entered the water to retrieve discs that were lost in the lake by nearby disc golfers.
“We had spoken with him and asked him about the danger associated with going in the water and he had said if you show [alligators] some kind of mutual respect they have a relationship with you,” said Sperry.
Sperry said McGuinness had even named some of the alligators in the lake. “He named the big one, the 10-footer, Willy,” Sperry said.
Despite the dangers, Sperry said McGuinness didn’t have any problems going into the water. “He seemed fearless with it. He said, ‘We have a relationship. I don’t bother them, they don’t bother me,'” Sperry recalled.