"We are deeply saddened, and we extend our condolences to her family and friends on behalf of the Kiawah Island community," Kiawah Island Mayor Craig Weaver said in a statement

By Dave Quinn
May 04, 2020 09:57 AM
Fatal Alligator Attacks Set New Record In Florida
Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty

A South Carolina woman died on Friday after encountering an alligator on Kiawah Island.

The Charleston County Coroner's Office has since identified the victim as Cynthia Covert, 58, of Johns Island, CNN reported.

She was found by officers from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office around 5 p.m. local time by a pond near Salt Cedar Lane, authorities said in a tweet over the weekend, after reports of an "alligator encounter" with a woman was called in.

A deputy on the scene fatally shot and retrieved the alligator, the Sheriff's Office said, adding that members of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources were also on the scene.

The incident is still under investigation, the sheriff's office stressed.

Craig Weaver, Kiawah Island Mayor, released a statement about the incident on Facebook.

"On Friday, we experienced a terrible tragedy with the death of a woman on the island in an alligator related incident. Late yesterday, the Charleston County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Cynthia Covert of Johns Island," Weaver wrote on Sunday. "We are deeply saddened, and we extend our condolences to her family and friends on behalf of the Kiawah Island community."

"We live closely with nature on this island," Weaver continued. "An alligator caused death is exceedingly rare and has not happened on our island before to my knowledge. We know that we must act responsibly and with care around these animals. Consequently, it will be important to know and to share with the community the facts and circumstances from this tragedy, so we can avoid experiencing anything like this again."

He added: "I want to extend my gratitude to the numerous emergency and law enforcement agencies and their personnel who responded swiftly to this emergency. This death is being actively investigated by law enforcement, including the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, the Charleston County Coroner's Office, and the Department of Natural Resources. They, not the Town, are solely responsible for that investigation and the eventual public release of their findings. The alligator involved with the death was killed by first responders and has been removed. The Town is not presently aware of the timeline for the investigation but will communicate additional information as it becomes available."