ORANGE CITY, Fla. (AP) – Authorities have confirmed that a swimmer’s death at a central Florida state park was likely caused by an alligator attack – the state’s first such fatal attack since 2007.
The Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to local media Wednesday that 62-year-old James Okkerse, whose body was found Monday floating in Blue Springs State Park, had injuries consistent with an alligator attack.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that a 12-foot alligator was spotted twice on Sunday when the park was forced to close temporarily after the sightings. Authorities on Monday shot the alligator after Okkerse’s body was found. Friends said the DeBary man swam in the park every day.
The full autopsy report will take six to eight weeks to complete.
The Volusia County park is popular for kayaking and manatee watching.