Autopsy results released for woman killed by alligator on July 4th

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 3:28 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The Beaufort County Coroner’s Office has released the autopsy results for a woman that was killed by an alligator on July 4th.

According to the autopsy, the woman died from drowning and blunt force trauma. The coroner’s office said the blunt force trauma refers to bites, but they could not tell if the bites happened before or after death.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) released the necropsy results for the alligator. According to SCDNR, the nearly 10-foot male alligator did not show any signs that it had been recently fed by humans.

The gator was captured and euthanized after killing a woman in the Spanish Wells community on Tuesday morning.

Holly Jenkins, 69, was found at the edge of the lagoon and appeared to be unresponsive. First responders tried to get to the woman, but her body was being guarded by an alligator.

SCDNR said initial information from the scene was that the woman was walking her dog near the lagoon when the alligator attacked.

SCDNR said nearly any body of water in the Lowcountry could have alligators living in it.

This alligator activity chart from SCDNR shows that alligators are ending mating season and are in nesting season.


SCDNR has some tips to help keep you safe.

  • Never feed alligators. It’s illegal and teaches alligators to associate humans with food.
  • Avoid swimming or playing in areas where alligators are living.
  • Keep pets out of the water if alligators are present.
  • And finally, do not approach alligators.

DNR says the best thing to do is simply keep your distance and leave them alone if possible.

If you feel like an alligator is causing problems or might be a danger to others, please click here to find the phone number to report the alligator to DNR in your region.

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