June 17, 2024

A man found dead in a Florida lake while searching for Frisbees and other flying discs was missing three limbs after a likely encounter with alligators, police said Friday. 

Largo Police Department spokeswoman Megan Santo said in an email that the medical examiner’s final report on the death of Sean McGuinness would be finished in about two months.

McGuinness, 47, was found May 31 in the lake in Taylor Park, which is adjacent to a disc golf course. Authorities say McGuinness was known to frequent the lake to find discs and sell them.

His friend, Ryan McKinley, told WTSP last week that McGuinness made over $100 a day retrieving the discs.

“There are stores around here that will give you $5 a piece for those frisbees or the discs. He could go in the pond and get 20 or 30 of them out in 30 or 40 minutes,” the friend said. “He would just walk out there, move his feet around, and they would just pop up. They’re just $5 bills to him, so that’s how he lived.” 

It’s not clear whether McGuinness drowned, had a medical issue or was killed by alligators. But Santo said he was missing three limbs when his body was found.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said two large alligators were trapped – one 10 feet long, the other 8 feet – but necropsies did not implicate either in McGuinness’ death.

Largo is located in Pinellas County, about 20 miles from St. Petersburg.

Taylor Park’s website notes that patrons can “discover the sport of disc golf on a course set in the natural beauty of this park.” The course is set along the lake, which has no-swimming signs posted along it.

Alligators are found almost everywhere in Florida where there is any kind of water. The wildlife commission says there have been no fatal alligator attacks in Florida since 2019, although people and animals have been bitten from from time to time.

In June 2020, a man was bitten in the face by an alligator while in waist-deep water in Taylor Lake near the disc golf course, WTSP reported. He received severe cuts to his hand and face, FWC officers said at the time.

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