Alligator Found Chewing on Body of Houston Woman Who Went Missing During Walk

American Alligator
American Alligator (Representational Picture) Pixabay

Authorities in Texas are investigating after human remains were found in the jaws of an alligator while officers were searching the area for a missing woman.

The gruesome discovery in Houston comes less than a year after the body of a woman was found in the mouth of a gator in Florida.

Alligator Shot to 'Prevent it from Doing More Damage to the Remains'

"Patrol officers located the remains of a woman in the jaws of an alligator in the Horsepen Bayou ... while searching the area for a woman reported missing," Houston police said in a statement Wednesday.

A sergeant fatally shot the alligator "to prevent it from doing more damage to the remains," officials said. A dive team later recovered the woman's body and dead alligator from the bayou, police said.

Victim was Reported Missing by Her Husband After She Failed to Return from Her Evening Walk

Police said the husband of the victim, an unnamed woman in her 60s, reported her missing early Tuesday morning, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reported. He told police she went for a walk around 7:30 p.m. Monday and never returned.

One of the questions investigators are trying to answer is if the gator attacked and killed the woman or if she was already dead when it found her. Police said they're waiting on autopsy results to determine how she died before they jump to conclusions.

Incident Comes 8 Months After Another Body was Found in Gator's Jaws in Florida

The woman's death comes about eight months after the body of a 41-year-old woman was spotted in the jaws of a 13-foot alligator in Largo, Florida. Last February, an 85-year-old woman was killed by a 10-foot alligator walking her dog in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Alligator attacks are rare in Texas, although earlier this month, a police officer in Cleveland, Texas was bitten by a 10-foot gator while trying to remove it from a roadway. The last fatal alligator attack in the state happened in 2015, when a 28-year-old man was killed while swimming late at night at a marine in Southeast Texas.