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Medical Examiner Confirms Blue Spring Swimmer Found Dead Was Attacked By An Alligator

By Ebyabe (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Update 6:36 p.m.: Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say the Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office has reported the cause of the swimmer’s death is consistent with an alligator attack.

Also, Fish and Wildlife says the 12 1/2-foot gator it killed earlier this week has been confirmed to be involved in the swimmer’s death.

Earlier: The autopsy report is pending for a 61-year-old man who may have been fatally attacked by an alligator at Blue Spring State Park Monday. A report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department said there were marks on the man’s body consistent with an alligator attack.

James Okkerse was a regular swimmer at the spring in Orange City. The report said his friends last saw him in the water but he didn’t surface. And that a dive team found his body after an extensive search at the bottom of the channel.

Florida Fish and Wildlife reports the last fatal alligator attack in Florida was in 2007. A Fish and Wildlife officer told WMFE he doesn’t recall there ever being an alligator attack at Blue Spring State Park.

Editor’s note: Headline modified to update the story

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Crystal Chavez