OCALA NATIONAL FOREST, Fla. – Wildlife officers captured an alligator Thursday that they believe fatally attacked a Tennessee woman while she snorkeled in a secluded recreation area.
Trappers caught the 11-foot-4-inch, 407-pound alligator on a baited hook in Juniper Creek, near Lake George, where Annemarie Campbell was attacked, state wildlife officials said.
"I think it's a great relief because my experience of alligators is that, once they kill, they kill again, and I don't want someone else to go through what I went through," the woman's mother, Dawn Marie Yankeelov of Louisville, Ky., told the Ocala Star-Banner for Friday's editions.
A forensic tooth expert has to confirm that the bite marks on Campbell match the gator's teeth, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Kat Kelley.
People with Campbell beat the animal until it released her body. The captured alligator bore scratch marks on its snout and a stab wound in its right eyelid, officials said.
Campell, 23, of Paris, Tenn., died from drowning and multiple blunt-force injuries, according to an autopsy.
Her death was the third fatal alligator attack in Florida this month. The state had 17 confirmed fatal attacks by the animals in the previous 58 years.