Missing Texas woman’s remains found inside alligator’s jaw

The remains of a missing woman were found inside the jaws of an alligator.

On Tuesday, police found the remains of a woman in her 60s who had been reported missing Tuesday morning at Horsepen Bayou, Texas, according to the Houston Police Department. The unnamed victim went for a walk around 7:30pm Monday and never returned home.

The remains were spotted by patrol officers in the area.

The alligator was shot and killed by police to prevent it from causing further damage to the remains. An analysis of the remains will play a key role in the investigation of the woman’s death.

Police in Texas remove an alligator after a a missing woman’s body was found in its jaws. (YouTube/KPRC)
Police in Texas remove an alligator after a a missing woman’s body was found in its jaws. (YouTube/KPRC)

After the alligator was shot, the Houston Police Department's dive team recovered the carcass of the animal along with the woman's remains from the water.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine if the woman was killed by the alligator or died of another means and was then consumed by the alligator.

"On May 28, Texas Game Wardens provided assistance to the Houston Police Department (HPD) in the recovery of human remains found near an alligator," Texas Parks and Wildlife law enforcement spokesperson Maggie Berger said in a statement. "The woman's cause of death has not been determined. HPD is currently investigating the incident and will be the lead agency moving forward. Our thoughts are with the woman's family during this time."

A neighbor told ABC 13 that they regularly see alligators in the area and that they know which banks to avoid.

"[The alligators] live down there. We see eight-feet, ten-feet babies. I know which banks to stay away from and where they like to lay in the sun," Angela Derous told the outlet. "That's the first time I've heard of that happening down here. It's a little scary."

The last time an alligator killed a human in Texas was in 2015 when a 28-year-old man was attacked and killed during a swim. Before his death, it had been more than 90 years since the last recorded fatal gator attack in Texas.

While alligators can be found in 13 states, they are most frequently associated with Florida. Last September, a 41-year-old Florida woman who was homeless was killed by an alligator. Witnesses reported seeing a gator walking down a residential street with the woman's body in its jaws.

Police ultimately located the creature and killed it. They later determined the woman — who had been living in a wooded area near a canal — had been killed by the animal.