SC man died before alligator bite, coroner says


KIAWAH ISLAND, SC (WSPA) – A South Carolina man whose body was found with alligator bite marks died of natural causes before he was bitten according to autopsy results.

The body of 79-year-old John Elias was found by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Saturday afternoon in a pond near his home on Kiawah Island.

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Elias had injuries consistent with what would be expected from an encounter with a large alligator.

Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said autopsy results found that the injuries were sustained after Elias died.

“This is an incredibly sad and tragic situation and our thoughts are with the Elias family as they grieve the loss of their loved one. The results of the autopsy indicate that Mr. Elias died of natural causes prior to being found by the alligator,” said Wooten.

The alligator was found Sunday afternoon by SCDNR and euthanized.

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