The daughter of a homeless Florida woman whose body was found in an alligator’s mouth has been left in “excruciating pain” since learning of her mother’s tragic death.
Breauna Dorris said she hopes her mother, Sabrina Peckham, “will no longer struggle or be injured” after authorities identified her body Friday as carried by a nearly 14-foot-long alligator in a canal on a residential street in Largo.
“To my mother: I love you more than I can say, I miss you more than you can imagine, and I pray you look down on me and your grandchildren,” Dorris wrote in an emotional Facebook post over the weekend s post.
“Please protect us. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I pray that you calm down and no longer struggle or get hurt.”
Dorris, 23, said heartbreakingly that Peckham, 41, was one of the homeless people living in a nearby wooded area. She said her mother may have been walking to or from a campsite near the creek when “the alligator attacked from the water.”
She also firmly denied rumors posted in news outlets’ comment sections that her “mocking” of the giant reptile contributed to her death.
“The past 24 hours have been filled with sadness and unbearable pain for our family,” Dorris said.
A bystander discovered Peckham’s body on the way to the interview, dragged by the alligator and alerted authorities.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies pulled the animal and the victim from the canal.
While officials said the alligator was “humanely killed,” neighbors who witnessed the killing said rescuers fired several shots at it.
The cause of death of the mother and grandmother has not yet been released. It’s unclear whether the crocodile killed her or if she was already dead when the crocodile clamped its jaws around her body.
Court records show Peckham was previously arrested by county deputies on July 14 for trespassing in a county wetland about a half-mile from where she died.
She was released from custody on September 8 after she pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor.
For two weeks before Friday’s horrific discovery, we had no idea where she was.
“No matter what you say, no one deserves to die like this,” Peckman’s grieving daughter said.
Doris is raising funds to pay for her mother’s cremation and burial. She created a GoFundMe page that had raised nearly $6,000 as of Sunday evening.
“Sabrina was loved by many and we looked forward to spending many, many years with her,” the fundraising page reads. “Our family is in turmoil as we try to cope with this loss. Sabrina was only Aged 41, homeless, no funeral or death arrangements made.”