Florida man died from meth overdose before he was eaten by alligator

A "methamphetamine intoxication" killed Michael Ford before the reptile tore his body apart.
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, Fla.Polk County Sheriff's office

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By David K. Li

A Florida man, found eaten by an alligator this summer, died from a meth overdose before his body was ripped apart by the reptile, according to a medical examiner's findings.

Michael Ford, 45, was found face down in a canal in Fort Meade on June 27 and Polk County Sheriff's investigators theorized he might have drowned before an alligator began eating the man's remains.

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A hand and a foot belonging to Ford was found in the beast's stomach.

"It is my opinion that Michael Glenn Ford II died as a result of a methamphetamine intoxication," District Medical Examiner Stephen Nelson wrote in an autopsy report obtained by NBC News on Thursday. "The manner of death is accident."

The report took note of the "traumatic" amputations Ford's body had suffered at his left forearm and right foot. Nelson found that those injuries were likely postmortem.

"The decedent's injuries and amputations lack sufficient associated blood to suggest they were made while alive," according to Nelson's report.

Ford was nude when he was discovered, but his clothes were not found at his nearby car or at the scene, officials said.

Friends and family of Ford told investigators they hadn't seen him since June 23, authorities said.