By Joan Murray


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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Trappers pulled a 12 and-a-half-foot gator from Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park Friday afternoon in Davie and Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission officials confirmed what everyone feared.

Inside the reptile, they found evidence of Shizuka Matsuki — the Plantation woman who vanished earlier while walking her dogs.

“Initial necropsy revealed human remains. At this time we believe the victim is deceased and we will continue the search until morning,” FWC Officer Ronald Washington said.

“We got a phone call earlier from a person who was in the park. He had seen a woman walking two dogs and a short time later he sees that the dogs were by themselves near the water and one of them had a fresh injury on it,” Davie Police Department Detective Viviana Gallinal said.

Divers could be seen entering the lake, in the 600 block of Southwest 52nd Street, Friday afternoon where FWC officials confirmed they had captured a large gator.

Edwin Gomez, an area resident, was horrified to hear an alligator may be behind a woman’s disappearance at this Davie park.

“The gator lurking in one of the lakes is well known to regulars. When I sit in the pavilion, I tell people there’s a gator they say, ‘OK, this is Florida’,” Gomez said. “Everybody walks their dogs. We go there all the time.”

Maria Raeaoso, whose home sits on one of two lakes in the park, says her poodle disappeared last year and she wonders if a gator is to blame. Despite signs posted saying no swimming, neighbors say it’s not unusual to see kids splashing in the lake. “It’s very sad. You see boys swimming in the canal,” said Raeaoso.

“We are in South Florida. Maybe there isn’t enough food back there,” said neighbor James Galligan.

The last deadly gator attack in South Florida happened 12 years ago when a 28-year-old woman was attacked while jogging along a path in Sunrise.

The park is surrounded by homes. Neighbors say they often see people walking their dogs around the lakes and have even seen kids go swimming in them.

Matsuki’s dogs were turned over to animal control for the time being.

Police said the area would be closed off to the public until further notice.

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