"He rolled a few times in the water and then let go [of the body] and swam off," Sgt. Gary Gross tells PEOPLE

By Tiare Dunlap
Updated June 07, 2016 07:20 PM
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Credit: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Police in Lakeland, Florida are currently investigating a body they discovered in the mouth of an 8-foot alligator on Tuesday.

Sgt. Gary Gross, who responded to the scene at Lake Hunter, tells PEOPLE he saw the 8-foot gator with what appeared to be a human body in its mouth.

“He rolled a few times in the water and then let go [of the body] and swam off,” Gross says.

Members of the Lakeland Police Department then recovered the body of a white male that “appeared to have been in the water for more than a day,” Gross says.

It is unknown if the victim died from an alligator attack or unrelated causes.

“He could have been in the water for days but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been an alligator attack from three days ago,” Gross explains. “It’s mating season down here and the alligators can store their food for some time.”

Detectives are currently combing the scene for anything that might help to identify the victim, and a gator trapper has been dispatched to attempt to catch the animal.

“They’re on the scene right now trying to catch the alligator so that they can examine the contents of its stomach and see if there’s any human remains in it,” Gross says.

Gross says there are no open missing persons cases in the area that match the victim’s description so the investigation into the victim’s identity and cause and manner of death will be continued by the medical examiner.