A police officer in Florida opened fire on an alligator to reclaim the body of a two-year-old boy who had been missing since the discovery of his mother’s body the previous day.
Taylen Mosley’s mother Pashun Jeffery was found dead in her apartment on Thursday (30 March) and there was no sign of the toddler, The Tampa Bay Times reports.
On Friday, an officer found an alligator with the missing child in its mouth near Dell Holmes Park in St Petersburg, Florida.
The officer fired their weapon at the animal which then dropped the boy’s body. The alligator was killed.
“It is my condolences going out to the family and to his loved ones,” said St Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway.
“We are so sorry that it had to end this way,” he added.
“We didn’t want to find him this way,” Mr Holloway said. “But at least we can bring some closure to that family now.”
The police chief said Taylen’s father, Thomas Mosley, will be arrested on two charges of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of the boy and his mother.
Mr Mosley stabbed Ms Jeffery multiple times and then went to an area hospital on Wednesday night with cuts to his arms and hands.
He was still at the hospital on Friday night and police plan to arrest him when he is discharged, the police chief said.
“Nothing in our investigation leads us to believe that he is a victim,” Holloway said.
A pending autopsy by Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Officer will establish the cause of the toddler’s death.
It is unclear if Taylen died before or after he went into the lake.