"I miss you more than you’ll ever know," Breauna Dorris said of her 41-year-old mom Sabrina Peckham
The daughter of a woman whose body was found after being seen in a Florida alligator's mouth is speaking out following her mom's death, which has left her "filled with grief and sorrow."
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said the body of 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham was pulled from a canal in the area of 134th Avenue North and 121st Street North in Largo on Friday.
Authorities said that deputies responded to a report of a dead body seen in the waterway near the 13-foot, 8.5-inch male alligator. Her manner and cause of death are still under investigation, according to the medical examiner's office.
"My mother did not 'taunt' the alligator as some are saying in the news outlets comments," Breauna Dorris said in a Facebook post on Saturday. "My mother was apart 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."
"Please do not speak on what you don’t know," she added. "No matter how you put it, no one deserves to die like this."
Dorris shared that she was shocked that her mother had died at 41, adding, "We had not expected to do this anytime soon. We expected to have many many more years with her. Unfortunately god has called her home sooner than our hearts were ready."
Peckham was found in a waterway located near Ridgecrest Park in Pinellas County, according to Spectrum Bay News 9, which has a 5-acre lake and has been known for alligator sightings. Per the station, the location is close to where a man was killed in an alligator-involved accident in May 2022 while searching for Frisbees and other discs in the water.
JaMarcus Bullard, a local resident, told the outlet that he spotted the alligator carrying victim as he was on his way to job interview. "I could tell there was a body in his mouth, so I started recording," he added.
"I picked up a rock to hit it, it was a lower torso in his mouth," Bullard said, according to Insider. "It just like swam backward down into the lower canal."
"I would’ve never dreamt that an alligator would be in this area," Terri Williams, who was visiting the neighborhood at the time of the attack, told Fox affiliate WTVT-TV. "Of course, I know there’s a lake across the street, and I know about the lake in Taylor Park, but not in this neighborhood. No, I would have never thought that."
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The alligator was eventually “humanely killed and removed from the waterway” with the assistance of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Dorris said on a GoFundMe page that her family is in "shambles trying to cope with this kind of loss." As of Monday morning, over $7,000 has been raised for funeral costs.
"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," Dorris wrote in a an emotional message on social media. "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," she continued. "I pray you found momo and pop and you all are watching down from above."
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