Medical examiner: Alligator attack killed Florida swimmer

Still frame from NBC News video

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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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