Woman found dead in jaws of alligator weeks after arrest for trespassing in wetlands

A woman whose remains were found in the jaws of a nearly 14ft-long alligator in Florida had earlier been arrested for trespassing in nearby wetlands.

The body of Sabrina Peckham, 41, was removed from a creek in the city of Largo on Friday after a witness spotted the large reptile toying with it in a creek.

Police said the animal, which measured 13ft 8.5in in length, was “humanely killed” after they were called to the scene.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office identified Peckham’s body on Saturday, but said the cause of her death had yet to be established. Her next of kin has been informed.

According to court records, Peckham, who was homeless, had been caught by authorities on July 14 for trespassing on county wetland – just half a mile from where she was later found dead.

The New York Post reported the 41-year-old ignored signs warning against unlawful entry and was released on Sept 8 after pleading no contest to the misdemeanour.

She was ordered to pay $500.

A witness said the reptile put up a strong fight against authorities

A witness said the reptile put up a strong fight against authorities

Records reportedly show Peckham had multiple charges against her for trespassing, as well as a number of theft and drug convictions.

Witness Jamarcus Bullard told US media he spotted the alligator with a body in the creek, and ran to a nearby fire station to report it.

“I threw a rock at the gator, just to see if it was like really a gator,” he told WFLA-TV, an NBC News affiliate.

“It pulled the body, like it was holding on to the lower part of the torso, and just pulled it under the water.”

Mr Bullard said the alligator later put up a strong fight against authorities.

He said: “They put a rope around its neck and put it on a pulley of a truck. They were reeling it in, but it started to pull the truck into the water.

“They got this long stick thing, pulled the head out of the water, then they shot it and once they reeled it all the way out. They stretched it out and measured it 13ft long and they shot it again.”

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