Deputies: Florida burglary suspect killed by 11-foot alligator

This photo, released by the Brevard County Sheriff's Department, shows burglary suspect Matthew Riggins and the alligator deputies say killed him.

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida (WCMH)– A 22-year-old burglary suspect drowned after being attacked by an alligator while trying to get away from police, Florida sheriff deputies said in a news release.

Matthew Riggin told his girlfriend on the night of November 12 that he planned to go with another man to commit burglaries, Brevard County deputies said.

Residents in the neighborhood spotted Riggins and called 911, alerting deputies that two men, dressed all in black, were walking behind houses in the area. When deputies arrived, they say both male suspects took off on foot.

Deputies say during the foot chase, Riggins managed to call his girlfriend to let her know he was being chased. He wasn’t heard from again.

A missing persons report went out the next day, and deputies later recovered his body in a lake just north of the neighborhood. Deputies say an aggressive 11-foot long alligator was guarding the body.

Trappers captured the gator and euthanized the animal. They then discovered Riggins’ body had injuries consistent with an alligator attack.

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

Deputies say they have identified the second man wanted in the attempted burglary attempt, but he is refusing to cooperate with law enforcement officials. 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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