SLIDELL, La. — Human remains found inside the stomach of a 12-foot alligator have been positively identified as a 71-year-old Louisiana man, attacked in floodwaters after Hurricane Ida moved through the Slidell area.
According to St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston, the remains belonged to Timothy Satterlee Sr., who was attacked by the 504-pound alligator near his home in Avery Estates on Aug. 30 while walking to a shed on his property in Ida floodwaters, WVUE confirmed.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed earlier that Satterlee’s wife witnessed the attack, but his body was gone after she returned from retrieving help.
The coroner’s office made the identification using DNA samples extracted from tissue in the remains, which they compared to samples from Satterlee’s sons, NOLA.com reported.
In addition to finding 11 “points of similarity” in the samples tested, indicating the remains most likely belonged to the elder Satterlee, the coroner’s office also examined evidence of prior surgeries, including a rotator cuff operation, and dental records, the news outlet reported.
“It was really very challenging because much like someone who is severely burned, the DNA in the burned tissue is going to be completely destroyed. And unfortunately a lot of the tissue that had been inside of the alligator’s stomach was severely degraded,” Preston told NOLA.com, noting he was “comfortable” in his positive identification.
©2021 Cox Media Group