Homeless woman found dead in jaws of Florida alligator 'ignored warning signs and was caught trespassing in wetlands'

25 September 2023, 09:49

Sabrina Peckham was killed by an alligator
Sabrina Peckham was killed by an alligator. Picture: Twitter/Facebook

By Kit Heren

A woman killed by an alligator in Florida had ignored several warning signs to stay away from danger.

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Sabrina Peckham, 41, was found in the jaws of a 13ft 8in alligator in the city of Largo on Friday.

Ms Peckham, who was homeless, had also been fined for trespassing in the wetlands only half a mile from where she was killed.

She was given the $500 (£408) fine on July 14, according to court records.

Ms Peckham's daughter Breauna Dorris has launched a fundraiser for the funeral after "the sudden, tragic loss" of her mother.

"Sabrina lost her life suddenly after being attacked by a 13 foot alligator," she said. "Sabrina was loved by many and we expected many many more years with her.

Read more: 'I felt fear like never before': Alligator hunters catch 400-kilo, 4-metre long 'monster' in bid to keep people safe

Read more: Terrifying moment woman, 85, is dragged to her death by an alligator as she tried to rescue her dog

Sabrina Peckham was killed by the alligator on Friday
Sabrina Peckham was killed by the alligator on Friday. Picture: Facebook

"Our family is in shambles trying to cope with this kind of loss. Sabrina only being 41 and homeless at the time had no funeral or death arrangements set up."

Police put the alligator down "humanely", they said. An eyewitness said that the animal put up a good fight.

"I threw a rock at the gator, just to see if it was like really a gator,” Jamarcus Bullard told local station WFLA-TV.

"It pulled the body, like it was holding on to the lower part of the torso, and just pulled it under the water."

The stream where the alligator is thought to have killed Ms Peckham
The stream where the alligator is thought to have killed Ms Peckham. Picture: Alamy

Mr Bullard added: "They put a rope around its neck and put it on a pulley of a truck. They were reeling it in, but it started to pull the truck into the water.

Police at the scene
Police at the scene. Picture: Alamy

"They got this long stick thing, pulled the head out of the water, then they shot it and once they reeled it all the way out.

"They stretched it out and measured it 13ft long and they shot it again."