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Victim of alligator attack during hurricane is identified

September 24, 2021 GMT

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — The remains found in an alligator’s stomach have been positively identified as those of a man who was attacked and killed in Hurricane Ida floodwaters.

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said Thursday in a news release that the remains are those of Timothy Satterlee Sr., 71, who had been missing since the Aug. 30 attack near his home in Slidell. Two weeks later, authorities captured the 12-foot-long (3.65-meter), 500 pound (225-kilogram) alligator believed responsible for the attack. Once euthanized, the alligator’s stomach contents revealed human remains.

Using advanced DNA technology, Preston’s staff was able to make an 11-point DNA match with Satterlee’s children.

“For legal purposes, a 16-point match is the general standard,” Preston said. “In this case, given the circumstances, I am satisfied that an 11-point match confirms these are Mr. Satterlee’s remains.”

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Preston said they’ve also catalogued hair and other samples from Satterlee’s home and will try to make a full DNA match.

“We offer our sympathies to Mr. Satterlee’s family as they continue to deal with this tragic loss,” he said.

Ida had caused widespread flooding and knocked out electricity and phone service in parts of south Louisiana when it came ashore Aug. 29. Satterlee was attacked outside his home, which was surrounded by floodwaters, in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Authorities said Satterlee’s wife heard a splash and walked outside their home to see the alligator attacking her husband. She managed to pull her severely injured husband to the steps of their home.

She used a small boat to reach higher ground to get help. But when she and deputies returned to the house, Satterlee was gone.