Alligator Kills Elderly South Carolina Woman Who Fell in Water While Gardening in Retirement Community

Stock image of an alligator swimming in lake.
A stock image of an alligator swimming in a body of water.Getty Stock Images

Nancy Becker, an 88-year-old resident of Sun City Hilton Head, was gardening when she fell into a body of water and an alligator fatally attacked her.

An 88-year-old South Carolina woman was killed in a freak alligator attack Monday, authorities said. Nancy Becker was a resident of Sun City Hilton Head, a gated retirement community in Okatie, and was believed to be gardening at the time of her death, according to the Island Packet.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, along with fire officials, first responders and the community’s security, arrived at the scene around 11:15 a.m. Monday after receiving reports of an alligator attack.

When authorities arrived, they discovered the woman dead, alongside a 9-foot, 8-inch alligator that appeared to be “standing guard” over her body, USA Today reported. 

Investigators believe she slipped and fell into a body of water when she was gardening when the alligator attacked her. 

Authorities were able to recover the body hours later, at 1 p.m., they said in a statement. The alligator was euthanized hours after that, the Island Packet reported. 

“Alligator attacks are rare but not surprising,” public information officer Major Angela Viens told The New York Times

Becker’s death marks the second fatal alligator attack in South Carolina this year. 

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