Florida woman found in alligator’s jaws was arrested for trespassing two months ago

The woman whose lifeless body was found clenched between a four-metre alligator’s jaws was arrested just two months earlier for trespassing on county wetland property.

Sabrina Peckham, 41, was identified by police Saturday as the victim being dragged by the beast in a canal along a residential street in Largo, a small community about six kilometres south of Clearwater.

The homeless woman was caught by Pinellas County deputies around 6:30am local time on July 14 for trespassing onto county wetland just under a kilometre from where she was found dead Friday, court records show.

Ms Peckham ignored posted signage warning against unlaw entry, according to authorities.

After pleading no contest to the misdemeanour, she was released from the county on September 8 and was ordered to pay a $500 (A$776) fine.

It is not clear where the transient woman went in the two weeks before she was discovered dead in the waterway.

Records show she had a history of run-ins with police dating back to 2014, including multiple charges for trespassing.

Ms Peckham also had multiple drug and theft convictions lodged against her.

Investigators are still trying to determine whether Peckman was killed by the alligator.

A witness on his way to a job interview was the first to spot the four-metre male alligator carrying her body and rushed to alert the nearby fire department.

Authorities said they “humanely killed” the massive reptile, while neighbours claimed that responders yanked it from the water and shot it several times.

The area is near the popular Ridgecrest Park, which includes a 5-acre lake known to house alligators.

The alligators routinely wander the neighbourhood, according to neighbours, but the one killed Friday was one of the biggest some had ever encountered.

This story originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission.

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