DAVIE, Fla. – An arm was found inside an alligator that was caught in a Davie lake Friday, sources told Local 10 News.
The body part is believed to be that of a missing woman who disappeared while walking her dogs at the Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Rob Klepper said evidence from the necropsy indicates that the woman was bitten by the 12-foot, 6-inch gator.
"The FWC believes that the victim is deceased and we will continue recovery efforts on the lake with local authorities," Klepper said.
Klepper identified the woman as Shizuka Matsuki, 47, of Plantation.
Davie police Detective Vivian Gallinal said a man saw a woman walking her dogs in the park. A short time later, he said, he saw the dogs wandering alone.
"The witness who called us went to the area where he thought that they had been walking, and he immediately spotted an alligator," Gallinal said.
One of the dogs was found with a fresh wound, but the woman was missing.
The clue as to who the woman was came from the only car parked at the park. It was registered to Matsuki and her husband.
Residents who live in the area told Local 10 News that a gator is known to roam the lakes in the park. One woman said she let her 13-year-old poodle out in the backyard around Christmastime. The dog vanished.
"Do you think the alligator may have gotten it?" Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier asked.
"Maybe," she said.
A family friend who went to the park during the search for the woman said her husband was in Chicago and had been warned by him to stay away because of the gator.
"They should have, at least, signs up, 'look out for gators and snakes,' because they have 'no swimming' signs, but no enforcement," Davie resident Edwin Gomez said.
Weinsier asked the city why there are no signs in the park, but he was referred to the FWC. The park, however, is a city property.
A spokeswoman for Broward County Animal Care and Adoption said the agency took possession of three dogs from the Davie scene.
"This tragedy is heartbreaking for everyone involved, and our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim at this time," Klepper said.
The search for Matsuki's remains continued Saturday morning.