Update, Sept. 24, 2023 at 4:30 PM:
A homeless woman eaten by a 14-foot alligator in a Florida canal has been identified.
Sabrina Peckham, 41, was mauled to death and dragged into the canal where she was partially eaten by alligators.
The alligator was spotted with Peckham’s lifeless body in its jaws on a Florida street on Friday.
Peckham was arrested on July 14 for trespassing in a marsh just half a mile from where she was mauled, reports WFLA. She was ordered to pay a $500 fine.
“No matter how you put it, no one deserves to die like this,” her daughter, Breauna, wrote on social media.
“Some details I would like to share is that my mother did not ‘taunt’ the alligator as some are saying in the news outlets comments.”
“My mother was a part of the homeless population that lived in the nearby wooded area. It is believed that she may have been walking to or from her camp site near the creek in the dark and the alligator attacked from the water.
“We expected to have many many more years with her. Unfortunately god has called her home sooner than our hearts were ready.
“To my mother: I love you more than I ever expressed, I miss you more than you’ll ever know and I pray that you are looking down over me and your grandchildren.
“Please protect us. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I pray you are at peace and you are no longer struggling or hurting. I pray you found momo and pop and you all are watching down from above.”
A witness saw the gator with part of a body in its jaws on a residential street in Largo, near Clearwater, Florida.
Witness JaMarcus Bullard told Spectrum Bay News 9 he was on his way to a job interview when he saw the reptile near 134th Avenue North and 121st Street North.
“I could tell there was a body in his mouth, so I started recording,” Bullard said.
Bullard called the Largo Fire Department, which was stationed nearby. As emergency personnel approached at 1:50 p.m., they spotted the alligator in the canal with the victim.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission dragged the gator from the water and shot it “a few times,” Bullard said.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that both the victim and the gator were dragged from the canal.
The area is near the popular Ridgecrest Park, which includes a lake known to be infested with alligators.
According to a witness, gators routinely wander the neighborhood in search of food.
“A lot of my neighbors were out here and they’re the ones that told me about the gator,” resident Jennifer Dean told News 9.
Dean said the gator was the largest she had ever encountered in the neighborhood.