'Horrible' | 

Elderly woman killed by alligators in Florida pond is remembered as ‘sweet lady’

Ms Wiegand, whose official cause of death is currently being investigated by the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office, was remembered fondly by neighbours as kind and a “sweet lady”.
Rose Wiegand, a woman in her 80s, was killed by a pair of alligators after she fell into a Florida pond

Rose Wiegand, a woman in her 80s, was killed by a pair of alligators after she fell into a Florida pond

Johanna ChisholmLondon Independent

The Florida woman who was killed by two alligators after falling into a pond at a country club has been named.

Neighbours in Englewood identified the victim to WBBH as Rose Marie Wiegand, who was said to have been in her 80s.

Ms Wiegand had gone on a walk at the Boca Royale Golf and Country Club in Englewood, located about 30 miles south of Sarasota, when witnesses saw her fall into a pond and “struggle to stay afloat”, according to a statement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO).

The FWC and SCSO did not name the woman and are conducting an investigation into her death. The two alligators believed to have killed her were removed from the country club shortly after the incident by trappers from the FWC.

Ms Wiegand, whose official cause of death is currently being investigated by the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office, was remembered fondly by neighbours as kind and a “sweet lady”.

“She lives a couple doors down from me and she would bring our trash cans up if we were out of town. Very kind,” neighbour Kurt Kauffman told WBBH. “She always came up. She introduced herself when we moved in.”

WESH reported that officials are also probing whether the woman’s death was possibly brought about because of a medical episode. The outlet speculated that she may have collapsed before the pair of alligators – one measuring eight feet 10 inches and the other seven feet seven inches – dragged her into the water.

Despite the reptiles being taken away by local trappers, residents of the area remain shaken by the violent death.

“They live in the community. They go from pond to pond sometimes you’ll see them crossing the road,” Mr Kauffman told WBBH.

Another resident, John Whitworth, was left stunned at the possibility that such a grim attack as this one could strike so close to home.

“I mean it’s pretty horrible and it’s shocking to think that that could actually happen. We see alligators from time to time but never thought that anything like that could happen,” said Mr Whitworth.

“Certainly don’t want anything like that to happen to any other folks that are here and they just need to stay away from the lagoons if they see an alligator,” he added.

An autopsy is currently being conducted on Ms Wiegand by the Sarasota County Medical Examiner’s Office.


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