KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County investigators say a friend yelled at a woman to stay away from a gator before an attack led to the woman’s death on Kiawah Island.
Coroner Rae Wooten said 57-year-old Cynthia Covert died this past Friday. Covert’s cause of death is drowning and the manner of death was an accident.
According to the coroner, witnesses reported the victim was dragged into the water after she approached an alligator in a lagoon.
On Friday evening, Charleston County sheriff’s deputies responded to the incident at a pond in the area of Salt Cedar Lane for a report of an alligator encounter with a woman.
A newly released report states that a witness, identified as Covert’s friend, said the victim saw an alligator in the pond behind her house and wanted to get closer.
The witness said as she was cleaning up, she noticed Covert on her back steps, and could see the alligator.
A report states the witness yelled at Covert not to get closer, but the victim continued off the back steps towards where the alligator was located.
According to deputies, the witness kept yelling for Covert to get away, and saw that the victim was about 4 feet from the edge of the water when the alligator came up and attacked Covert.
The witness said while she called 911, her husband grabbed a shovel and went towards the incident location. She said her husband tried hitting the gator as the animal kept dragging the victim into the water.
The witness said Covert never screamed during the incident, and said her husband tried to save the victim, but the gator dragged her under the water.
The witness’ husband said he would “never forget this incident,” and said he and a neighbor tried to save Covert.