"When they arrived, fire personnel located the deceased woman inside of the lagoon and recovered her body, while deputies interviewed witnesses," said police

By Caitlin Keating
August 20, 2018 01:28 PM

A 45-year-old woman was attacked and killed by an alligator around 9:30 a.m. on Monday when she was walking her dog on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

According to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue and Sea Pines Security personnel responded to a lagoon off of Wood Duck Road in Sea Pines Plantation to a report of an alligator attacking a woman.

The victim was later identified as Cassandra Cline, a resident of Sea Pines Living.

“When they arrived, fire personnel located the woman inside of the lagoon and recovered her body, while deputies interviewed witnesses,” they wrote in a statement.

Cline was walking her dog near the lagoon when she was attacked and pulled underwater by the 8-foot alligator.

Credit: John J. Dreyer/Getty Images

Sea Pines Living officials wrote in a statement on Facebook that they are “shocked and heartbroken” after hearing the news.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the tragic loss of one of our Sea Pines property owners Cassandra Cline,” they wrote. “The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement earlier today stating that Ms.Cline was killed by an alligator in a lagoon in the Club Course area of Sea Pines. An alligator—believed responsible for the attack—was located and removed from the scene.”

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the Beaufort County Coroner, Edward Allen, scheduled an autopsy to be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina to determine her cause death. Cline’s dog did not appear to be harmed during the incident.

David Lucas of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources told ABC News that “they were able to get her out of the water and she was still alive, but she died at the scene.”

Lucas added that the only other reported death in South Carolina that was possibly related to an alligator in over four decades was in 2016.

“A lady wandered off from a nursing home and she was found [deceased] in a pond, bitten pretty badly,” he told the news outlet. “But we don’t know — and I don’t think we’ll ever be able to determine because there were no witnesses — whether she fell in and was then bitten, or whether she was attacked and then dragged into the pond.”