Authorities have identified the person found dead in the jaws of a nearly 14-foot alligator’s mouth on Friday. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the victim was 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham. The manner and cause of her death have yet to be determined. Peckham’s lifeless body was discovered in the mouth of the reptile in a canal by a witness who promptly alerted the authorities.
Peckham, who had been homeless, was previously caught by police in July for trespassing onto county wetland just blocks away from the location where she was later found dead, according to court documents seen by Insider. The alligator responsible for the incident was “humanely killed” with the assistance of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The sheriff’s office’s dive team later recovered the woman’s remains. Authorities are still investigating whether the alligator played a role in her death.
In a similar incident that occurred in March, the body of a two-year-old boy, Taylen Mosley, was found in the mouth of an alligator in a location close to where Peckham’s corpse was retrieved. The child’s father, Thomas Mosley, was charged in both deaths, as stated in a police affidavit reported by CNN. The Pinellas Medical Examiner confirmed that the child died of drowning.
Fatal alligator attacks are rare, with the United States typically reporting an average of six annually, according to AZ Animals. This year, there have been at least two known reports of fatal alligator attacks in Florida. The state is estimated to have a population of about 1.3 million alligators, as per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.