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Investigation into how man died in Largo lake with gators to take months

A police department spokesperson said Sean McGuinness was missing three limbs.

LARGO, Fla. — A final report into what led up to and may have caused the death of a 47-year-old man who went looking for Frisbees in an alligator-filled lake likely will take another month or two to complete.

Largo Police Department spokesperson Megan Santo confirmed authorities expect the medical examiner to release their report into Sean McGuinness' death about two months after the May 31 incident.

McGuinness was found to be missing three limbs when his body was recovered in Taylor Lake, Santo said in an email Friday.

Detectives with Largo police earlier said he entered the water at John S. Taylor Park, located at 1100 8th Ave. SW. in Largo, looking for the plastic discs near a course before he died. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed McGuinness was bitten by a gator. 

   

Citing park management, officers said McGuinness was known to frequent the park and enter the lake with disregard to the "no swimming" signs. He sold discs back to people within the park where there was a disc golf course. 

"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," his friend, Ryan McKinley, earlier told 10 Tampa Bay. "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. 

"He made $100-$250 a day and he was just doing it so he could eat. If they weren't doing that maybe he wouldn't have been in there."

McKinley said McGuinness had recently been struggling with epilepsy and having several seizures a day, questioning how his friend actually died. McGuinness should be remembered as someone with a kind soul, he continued.

"I'm kind of still waiting to find out if a gator attacked him, or if he had a seizure and from him flopping in the water it would attract a gator to him. I don't know yet if that's what it was, or if a gator really did attack him," McKinley said.

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