Suspected burglar killed by alligator while fleeing deputies


Matthew Riggins

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- An alleged burglar met his demise when he was attacked by an alligator while running from deputies, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

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Matthew Riggins’ body was found in Barefoot Bay Lake on Nov. 23.

Deputies said he drowned as a result of an alligator attack.

Investigators said he told his girlfriend earlier in the month that he and another man were going to burglarize homes in the area of Tequesta Drive in Barefoot Bay.

A witness called deputies after seeing the men on Royal Palm Boulevard.

Riggins and his alleged accomplice ran from deputies into a wooded area and were never found.

Deputies later learned Riggins had called his girlfriend while he was being chased.

Riggins was later reported missing to the Palm Bay Police Department when he didn’t return home.

During the recovery of his body, which was spotted just north of Ocean Avenue Way, dive teams encountered an 11-foot alligator around the body.

Florida Fish and Wildlife caught the animal and had it euthanized.

Reports said the “forensic examination of the alligator located remains consistent with the injuries to Riggins inside the alligator’s stomach.”

Deputies said they’ve located Riggins’ alleged accomplice, who is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

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