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Body partially eaten by alligator found floating in Florida canal

Investigators are looking into the death of Michael Ford II, whose body was discovered in Polk County.
Image: body found in canal
Authorities are conducting an investigation into the death of a man whose body was found in a canal in Fort Meade, Florida.Polk County Sheriff's office

Authorities in Florida are investigating the death of a man whose body had been partially eaten by an alligator and was found floating in a canal.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office identified the man as Michael Ford II, 45, of Wauchula, whose body was found Thursday morning floating in a canal around property owned by Mosaic.

"A large alligator had a part of Ford's body in his mouth" when a Mosaic employee found Ford's body, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is also involved in the ongoing investigation, trapped and killed the alligator to perform a necropsy.

"Ford's hand and foot were found inside the gator's stomach," the sheriff's office said about the necropsy results.

Ford's body had other injuries caused by the gator and his apparent cause of death is drowning, an autopsy revealed, according to the sheriff's office. A final cause of death had not been determined as of Saturday afternoon because officials were waiting for toxicology results.

Detectives from the sheriff's office seized a truck found at the scene and determined it belonged to a friend of Ford's who had recently agreed to sell it to him.

Neither the friend nor Ford's family had heard from him since June 23, according to authorities.