Officials: Woman Killed By Alligator Was Trying To Protect Dog

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UPDATE: The woman killed has been identified as 45-year-old Cassandra Cline. An alligator—believed responsible for the attack—was located and dispatched at the scene. Officials believe Cline was attempting to save her dog from the gator.

HILTON HEAD, SC — Around 9:30 this morning, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue and Sea Pines Security personnel responded to a lagoon off of Wood Duck Road in Sea Pines Plantation to a report of an alligator attacking a woman inside of a lagoon.

When they arrived, fire personnel located the deceased woman inside of the lagoon and recovered her body, while deputies interviewed witnesses. Witness accounts indicate that the woman—who will be identified after her next of kin are notified—was walking her dog near the lagoon when she was attacked and pulled underwater by the alligator.

The Sheriff’s Office Environmental Crimes Unit, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Sea Pines Security are on-scene searching for the alligator—reported to be approximately 8 feet in length.

Beaufort County Coroner Edward Allen scheduled an autopsy to be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina to determine the cause of the woman’s death. The deceased woman’s dog did not appear to be harmed during the incident.

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