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Woman Killed in Alligator Attack

September 28, 2004|From Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A 20-year-old woman died after an alligator bit off her arm as she apparently went out for a late-night swim in a lake near her grandparents' house, authorities said.

The body of Michelle Reeves, of Roswell, Ga., was found by her father in a lake near a residential area Sunday, Lee County Sheriff's spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi said.

Reeves and her father were in town visiting her grandparents, she said.

Reeves' right arm was bitten off at the elbow and she had puncture wounds on her left arm and upper body, LiMarzi said.

She had last been seen about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Reeves' father began searching for her about 10 a.m. and found his daughter's nightgown near the lake. He then called sheriff's deputies, and he found the body after they arrived.

The victim had "made several remarks to her family during the day that she wanted to go swimming in that lake," LiMarzi said.

State wildlife officials said an alligator was removed from the area.

In July, Janie Melsek, 54, died during surgery after an attack by a 12-foot, 457-pound alligator as she did landscaping work behind a home on Sanibel Island.

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