The daughter of the homeless American woman whose lifeless body was found in the jaws of an alligator has been filled with “unbearable pain” since she found out about her mother’s tragic death.
Breauna Dorris said she hopes her mother, Sabrina Peckham, is “no longer struggling or hurting” after authorities identified her as the person a nearly 14-foot alligator was carrying in a canal along a residential street in Largo, Florida on Friday.
“To my mother: 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,” Ms Dorris wrote in a stirring Facebook post over the weekend.
“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.”
Ms Dorris, 23, said Ms Peckham, 41, was part of the homeless population that lived in the nearby wooded area, The NY Post reports.
She said her mother might have been walking to or from her campsite near a creek at night when the “alligator attacked from the water”.
She also strongly rejected rumours posted in the comment sections of news outlets that she “taunted” the massive reptile leading up to her death.
“The past 24 hours have been filled with grief and sorrow and unbearable pain for our family,” Ms Dorris said.
A bystander on the way to a job interview spotted Ms Peckham’s body as the alligator dragged the remains 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,” neighbours who witnessed the killing said responders shot it several times.
A cause of death for the mother and grandmother has not been revealed. It’s unclear if the alligator killed her or she was already dead when it grabbed her body.
Ms Peckham was previously arrested by local police on July 14 for trespassing onto county wetlands about one kilometre from where she was found dead, court records show.
After she pleaded no contest to the misdemeanour, she was released from jail on September 8.
It’s unknown where she was for the two weeks leading up to the grisly discovery on Friday.
“No matter how you put it, no one deserves to die like this,” Ms Peckman’s grieving daughter said.
Ms Dorris is raising funds to pay for her mother’s cremation and burial.
She started a GoFundMe page that has raised nearly $6,000 ($A9300) as of Sunday night.
“Sabrina was loved by many and we expected many more years with her,” the fundraising page states.
“Our family is in shambles trying to cope with this kind of loss. Sabrina only being 41 and homeless at the time had no funeral or death arrangements set up.”
This article originally appeared in The NY Post and was reproduced with permission.