The grim finding came after the Horry County Police Department (HCPD) said it was called to an address in Myrtle Beach at about 11.45am on Friday by a concerned neighbour.
The department said it determined upon arrival at a residential property “that an alligator took hold of a neighbour who was near the edge of a retention pond and retreated into the retention pond.”
The victim had been “near the retention pond” when the attack took place, police said. Their name or age has not been released.
Further details about how the alligator was able to take hold of the individual have also been withheld while a HCPD homicide investigation is underway.
Jason Repak, a local resident of Myrtle beach, told The New York Times he was surprised about the alligator attack having tweeted a picture of multiple alligators near his home in May.
“I couldn’t have imagined that it was likely one of these alligators that would later kill a man,” he wrote last week after news of the attack broke. “My prayers and heart go out to the family as my arms wrap tighter around my kids and dogs near these ponds.”
Mr Repak added that the alligators were “a part of the community” in the city and seaside resort in South Carolina’s easternmost county. Alligator attacks rare in the state, with the last one occurring in 2020, according to reports.
“We’ve always looked at the alligators as a part of the community,” he told The Times. “Everybody treats them with a healthy respect. You try to maintain distance from the banks, and when you see them out, you admire them from afar. They’re a part of nature.”
Police said multiple agencies responded to the scene including the Horry County Fire and Rescue and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Section (SCDNR).
A decision was made by a SCDNR biologist to euthanise the alligator and both the large reptile and the victim were removed from the man-made pond by specialists.
Police added that “the HCPD death investigation remains underway. Our hearts go out to the family and community members impacted by this tragic incident.”