The daughter of a homeless Florida woman who was eaten by a 15-foot alligator has said her mother did not taunt the deadly reptile before it dragged her into a canal and killed her.
Sabrina Peckham, 41, was found in the alligator’s jaws after being dragged into a canal by the 15-foot-long beast in Largo, Clearwater, on Friday. A formal cause of death has yet to be determined by the coroner.
Peckham’s daughter, Breauna Dorris, has now come out to defend her mother, saying she was likely attacked by the alligator while walking to her homeless encampment in the dark.
“My mother was part of the homeless population that lived in the nearby wooded area. It is believed she was walking to or from her campsite near the creek in the dark and the alligator attacked from the water,” Dorris wrote in a Facebook post.
“My mother, Sabrina Peckham, was a victim of the alligator attack at McCay Creek (Rainbow Village). Please understand that we do not have all the information yet as the medical examiners’ report is not yet ready.
Breauna Dorris has said her mother didn’t challenge an alligator before it attacked and ate her, claiming instead that she walked back to her homeless camp in the dark
Sabrina Peckham (left) pictured with her daughter Breauna Dorris. Peckham, 41, was found in the alligator’s jaws on Friday after being dragged into a canal by the 15-foot-long beast
Sabrina Peckham was named as the homeless Florida woman who was mauled to death and dragged into a waterway by a huge alligator in Largo, Clearwater. Her formal cause of death has yet to be determined
“Some details I would like to share is that my mother did not ‘taunt’ the alligator, as some say in the news media comments. We expected to spend many more years with her. Unfortunately, God called her home sooner than our hearts were ready.”
She also wrote and posted about the family’s GoFundMe who managed to raise almost $5,000.
“The past 24 hours have been filled with sadness and excruciating pain for our family.
Dorris addressed her mother directly in the heartfelt statement: “To my mother: I love you more than I ever said, I miss you more than you will ever know and I pray that you look down on me and your grandchildren.
‘Please protect us. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I pray that you are at peace and are no longer struggling or in pain. I pray that you found Mom and Dad and that you are all watching from above.”
“Some details I would like to share is that my mother did not ‘taunt’ the alligator as some say in the news media comments,” said Breauna Dorris, Sabrina Peckham’s daughter.
Several locals witnessed the gruesome sight of Peckham’s death Friday afternoon, and as the alligator dragged its prey away and began recording the scene while alerting the Largo Fire Department
The Florida alligator was found with a corpse clutched in its jaws while walking through a canal near Clearwater
Last weekend it became clear howTwo months before her untimely death, Peckham was arrested on July 14 for trespassing on a swampland just half a mile from where she was mauled, reports WFLA. She was ordered to pay $500 for that incident.
Peckham reportedly ignored warning signs posted in the area and pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge on September 8.
It wasn’t the first time she was arrested for trespassing, as she has multiple felonies dating back to 2014, records show. Peckham also had a history of convictions for theft and run-ins with police.
“No matter how you say it, no one deserves to die like this,” her daughter wrote online.
A local resident driving to a job interview witnessed the gruesome scene for the first time and called the Largo Fire Department.
Soon after, several other locals witnessed the gruesome sight as the alligator dragged its prey away, with some even recording the scene.
Rescuers, working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, were able to remove the alligator from the water before shooting it dead. Officials described him as “killed humanely” after the horrific attack.
Emergency responders, working with the Florida FWC, successfully removed the alligator from the water and subsequently euthanized it
The 4-meter-tall reptile held its victim tightly between its powerful jaws as it paddled across the waterway in the small town of Largo
Jennifer Dean, who lived near where the woman was killed, said, “A lot of my neighbors were here and they’re the ones who told me about the alligator.
“While we were standing here we heard a shot, I guess they killed the alligator.”
Once the alligator was dead, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was able to retrieve the victim’s body from the water.
“I could tell there was a body in his mouth, so I started recording,” JaMarcus Bullard told Bay News 9.
“I went to the fire department and reported it to them,” he said.
Researchers also took the time to examine the alligator, which was nearly four meters long.
It is believed the deadly reptile came from a nearby alligator-infested lake known as Ridgecrest Park.