Body recovered from Florida pond

Body recovered from Florida pond
Authorities search for a teen last seen in a large retention pond in Orlando.

Deputies recovered a body from a retention pond in Orlando, Florida, Thursday morning, according to Orange County Deputy Sheriff Ingrid Tejada-Monforte.

There were concerns that the victim may have been attacked by an alligator after an eyewitness said he’d seen a teenager flailing in the water Wednesday, shouting, “It bit me! It bit me!”

But in a news conference Thursday morning, officials said there was no evidence of an alligator attack.

“There appears to be no damage to the body, no alligator bites, no damage to the face,” said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “(It’s) in perfect condition. Just deceased.”

The Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Fire Rescue and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded on Wednesday to conduct a search of the pond. On Thursday morning, when sheriff’s office personnel returned, a body was floating in the water.

Williamson said the victim appeared to be a “dark-skinned Hispanic or black female” in her late teens or early 20s. The agency’s homicide unit and the medical examiner have responded to the scene and authorities are trying to identify the victim.

The woman does not appear to match any missing person reports in the area, Williamson added.

He noted that the eyewitness was far away when he heard the screams, and said it’s possible the witness misheard.

Eric Wolfe was at home for lunch when he heard screaming coming from the pond, according to CNN affiliate WKMG. He says he saw what he thought was a teenage boy struggling to stay afloat before disappearing beneath the water.

“(I) had eyes on him the whole time and relayed his position to dispatch,” Wolfe told WKMG, “and he went under water and didn’t come up.”

Residents in the area say alligators have moved into the pond in recent years, WKMG reported.