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Soccer player dies from killer croc encounter while trying to cool off in river

A Costa Rican soccer player died last week when he went swimming to cool off in a river and found it swarming with crocodiles. 

“With deep sorrow we make public the death of our player Jesus Lopez Ortiz (Chucho), may God rest his soul,” local team Deportivo Rio Cañas wrote on Facebook. “Rest in peace, Chucho, we share your family’s pain.”

Gruesome video shows the killer croc swimming through the water with 29-year-old Ortiz in its mouth. Onlookers shout and point, some of them screaming in horror as they realize the crocodile has someone in its mouth. 

Footage posted online also showed locals shooting at the crocodile in an effort to save Ortiz. They ultimately succeeded in killing the animal, a protected species in Costa Rica. 

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Crocodile Costa Rica

Alberto Lopez Ortiz, 29, was killed by a crocodile in a horrifying attack. (Jam Press)

The crocodile dragged Ortiz underwater, making clear that he was not alive, but police could not say if he died from his injuries or from drowning, Global News reported. 

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Soccer player death

The crocodile swims under a bridge, dragging the body of Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz, as people watch in horror. (Jam Press)

The team put out a statement asking that no one upload video of the incident and that if any such video had been posted that the user take it down out of respect to Ortiz’s family. 

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Soccer swimming death

Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz is pulled from the river. (Jam Press)

“There are children, a mother, a father, brothers and wife who deserve respect,” the team wrote. A funeral procession for Ortiz drew “thousands” who flooded the streets, the team said.

Ortiz leaves behind two children, ages 8 and 3, and his wife, the New York Post reported. 

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He played for Deportivo Rio Cañas, an amateur local team in Carrillo, roughly 17 miles from the capital city of San Jose. 

“We will remember you in the many facets of your sporting life as a coach, football player and also as a family father. You will always live in our hearts Chucho, fly high friend,” his team wrote. 

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