South Carolina

Golfers who found woman’s body on course tried to scare away gators

Myrtle Beach alligators on the rise

Alligators are responding to the warm spring weather and making appearances earlier than normal along Myrtle Beach area waterways, according to state wildlife officials.
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Alligators are responding to the warm spring weather and making appearances earlier than normal along Myrtle Beach area waterways, according to state wildlife officials.

A golfer who found Evelyn Scott face down in a water hazard Monday tried to drive a golf cart into the water to scare away approaching alligators.

According to a Beaufort County Sheriffs Office report, Jack Youngberg and Barry Peddie discovered Scott’s body after they’d finished the first hole on Callawassie Island’s Palmetto course.

Scott, 76, from Okatie, had finished the first hole five minutes before Youngberg and Peddie. When the two men later finished the hole, they parked their golf cart away from Scott’s, which was parked by the women’s tees on the next hole. The police report states 10 more minutes passed, and that Youngberg and Peddie didn’t see Scott “play through.”

“They then rushed to the nearby water hazard,” the report says, where they found Scott’s body and “several alligators beginning to swim near” it.

Alligators are responding to the warm spring weather and making appearances earlier than normal along Myrtle Beach area waterways, according to state wildlife officials.

Peddie, the report says, tried to scare off the alligators by driving Scott’s golf cart into the water. But the cart got stuck in some bushes.

Peddie and Youngberg called out to a passerby, who called 911. Authorities responded to the scene just before 3 p.m. Monday, the report says.

Beaufort County coroner Ed Allen said Tuesday morning there was no evidence the animals had reached the body.

The cause of death, Allen said, is pending. He said it would be six to eight weeks before he’d receive the results of the autopsy, which is being performed at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Sheriffs office spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage said the report indicates Scott was golfing alone.

“At this point, there doesn’t appear to be any foul play,” Bromage said, adding that the autopsy results would determine the next steps in the investigation.

A public records search found a number for a Barry Peddie in Okatie, and a message was left on an answering machine Tuesday morning. No number could be located for Jack Youngberg.

Two attempts to reach Scott’s husband Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Alligator watcher Neil Arrington, of Goose Creek, South Carolina, describes, on Thursday, March 31, 2016, the plethora of alligators to be found at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area near Green Pond in Colleton County.

Wade Livingston: 843-706-8153, @WadeGLivingston

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