• The Charleston County Sheriff's Office was called about the reported attack around 5 p.m. on Friday
  • The body of Cynthia Covert was found on the island and a deputy killed the alligator police said they believed was responsible
  • It was the latest in a string of alligator sightings along Kiawah Island since the coronavirus lockdowns reduced traffic to the community

Police in South Carolina said an autopsy for a woman killed in an “alligator incident” is scheduled for Monday while officers continued to investigate the attack.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said it learned of the attack on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, on Friday at 5 p.m. A woman’s body was found near the scene of the attack while officers searched for the alligator. The sheriff’s office said a deputy shot and killed the alligator they believed was responsible before retrieving its body.

The victim, 58-year-old Cynthia Covert, was identified Sunday by Charleston County coroner Rae Wooten during the initial autopsy.

“The incident remains under investigation at this time,” Wooten told The Post & Courier. “An autopsy is scheduled to be completed on Monday, after which more information will be available.”

Kiawah Island Mayor Craig Weaver followed up Wooten with a statement calling Covert’s death “a terrible tragedy.”

“We live closely with nature on this island. An alligator caused death is exceedingly rare and has not happened on our island before to my knowledge,” Weaver said. “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.”

Covert was employed with Prime Cuts Salon in Seabrook Island, South Carolina, at the time of her deaths. She was also described as an animal lover that often shared posts on Facebook about people’s pets and fundraising efforts by animal rescue and protection organizations.

Kiawah Island officials said alligators had been appearing across Kiawah Island as coronavirus lockdowns have blocked travel to the popular tourist destination. One example was on April 25 when town officials said a juvenile alligator was seen roaming the island’s beaches.

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