The body of Florida man who ventured into an alligator-infested lake in search of flying discs was missing three limbs when recovered by authorities, according to a report.
Sean Thomas McGuinness, 47, was found dismembered on May 31 at Taylor Lake in Largo, where he frequently waded into water to retrieve wayward flying discs from a nearby disc golf course to resell, cops told Spectrum Bay News 9.
“When Sean McGuinness was recovered last week, he was observed to be missing three limbs,” Largo police spokeswoman Megan Santo told the outlet.
A final medical examiner’s report is expected sometime in late July, she said.
“That was the last disc he ever tried to get,” Derek Erskin, 37, who regularly visited Taylor Lake, told the station. “Hopefully he’s at peace now with the lord and that’s the best we can wish for.”
Two weeks before he died, McGuiness, of Largo, was wading chest-deep in the lake inhabited by alligators and realized the risk he was taking, Erskin said.
“He was fully aware,” Erskin continued. “He seemed to be pretty comfortable with what he was doing.”
A park ranger had previously tried to get McGuinness trespassed from the lake, but was unable to find him when they responded on April 11 and April 19, according to public records obtained by the station.
McGuiness had no family in Florida, where he was living with his best friend, Ryan McKinley, 47, for the past eight years, Spectrum Bay News 9 reported.
But McGuiness made a living off reselling the flying discs and Frisbees he recovered from the gator-filled lake where he ultimately died, McKinley said.
“He didn’t ask for handouts – he worked,” McKinley told the station. “He made his living no matter what he had to do and I respected him for that.”
McGuiness also had health issues, including a tumor on his pituitary gland, that forced McKinley to ask him to leave his home in January.
“It started causing problems with my family and that’s why I had to ask him to leave,” McKinley said. “It still kills me to this day, because I do blame myself a little bit.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife trappers caught and euthanized two large alligators in the lake following McGuiness’ death, but necropsies later showed they weren’t involved in the gruesome incident.
That realization would’ve likely angered McGuiness, whom McKinley believes wasn’t scared of the inherent risks associated with fetching flying discs from a lake known with alligators due to his failing health.
“He would’ve been upset that they’re killing the gators,” McKinley said of his late friend. “He doesn’t want that.”