Authorities Identify Victim After Alligator Spotted With Body in Mouth
In a shocking incident that has left a Florida community on edge, local authorities have identified the woman whose body was found in the jaws of a 13-foot alligator. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced on Saturday that the victim is 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham. The discovery was made in a canal in unincorporated Largo, located in the Tampa Bay area.
Authorities were alerted to the situation on Friday around 1:50 p.m. after receiving a call concerning an alligator in the water. A witness, JaMarcus Bullard, said he initially threw a rock at the alligator to confirm its presence. Upon realization, he started recording the harrowing scene on his cell phone and immediately contacted the authorities. "The alligator had the lower part of the torso in its mouth and pulled it under the water," Bullard recounted.
Responding officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office humanely euthanized the 13-foot, 8.5-inch male alligator. According to officials, alligators have been seen in the area before, but the sheer size of this particular animal was unusual. "I've never seen one this large," said local resident Jennifer Dean, adding that the incident has made her particularly concerned for her children who frequently walk by the canal.
The cause and manner of Peckham's death are still under investigation. Meanwhile, residents like Bullard, who walks by the waterway regularly, say they will exercise increased vigilance following the tragic event.
See the full story here via NBC News.