A Florida woman who was found dead after an alligator was seen with a body in its jaws was identified as Sabrina Peckham, 41, according to a statement released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Saturday.
The incident happened in Largo in the Tampa Bay area and was reported at about 1:50 p.m. on Friday, according to CNN.
Peckham's daughter, Breauna Dorris, 23, told WTVT that her mother was homeless and living in a wooded area.
"Nobody expects to hear that your mother died under these circumstances," Dorris said.
Peckham would visit her daughter's home to visit her grandchildren every day, but when she did not shop up Thursday and Friday, Dorris knew something had happened.
"I knew that she was out here," Dorris said. "Before her name was even released or she was identified, I knew there were news articles going around about a gator with a human body part in its mouth."
Shortly after her identity was released, it emerged that Peckham had a criminal history of trespassing and drug possession. Dorris said she hoped that her mother would be remembered for her heart and not her past.
"My mother chose the wrong path in life, for sure," she said. "She was selfless. One hundred percent selfless. She was homeless herself. But that didn't matter. She would give you the last piece of food off her plate. She would give you the shirt off her back if she needed to."
Officials euthanized the 13-foot, 8.5-inch male alligator, as confirmed by the sheriff’s office and the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. But Dorris draws little comfort from that.
"Knowing that's how she went," she said of her mother's death. "It wasn't painless. It wasn't fast. It wasn't easy. She struggled."
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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