A 54-year-old woman, Wa Tiba went missing on Thursday night.

About 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a search for her after she failed to return from her vegetable garden.

The garden in which she disappeared was at the base of a rocky cliff, pockmarked by caves, and known to be home to snakes.

So, when they found the seven-metre python bloated in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, offshore of Sulawesi on Friday, they suspected it might have swallowed the woman.

"Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden," said local police chief Hamka, who like many Indonesians has only one name.

"The snake's belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside."

READ: 3 Quick Steps To Get New BOUNCE FOOTBALL Feature

Hamka said villagers found the giant serpent lying about 30 metres from Tiba's sandals and machete, adding she was swallowed head first and her body was found intact.

Giant pythons, which regularly top six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.

While the serpents have been known to attack small animals, attempts to eat people are rare.

[VIDEO] World Cup Is Here! Naija Ladies Are Ready To Fly With The Eagles!