(CNN) — A Florida family is “in shambles” after a mother was found dead in the mouth of an alligator.
Authorities responded to a call in Largo, in the Tampa Bay area, about a gator in the water about 1:50 p.m. on Friday.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Sabrina Peckham, 41.
“Sabrina was loved by many and we expected many many more years with her,” Peckham’s daughter Breauna Dorris wrote on a verified GoFundMe page. “Our family is in shambles trying to cope with this kind of loss.”
Peckham was homeless and had no funeral arrangements set up, her daughter wrote. Dorris said she is seeking money for cremation and burial expenses after “the sudden, tragic loss of my mother.”
Alligators have been spotted in the area before, but resident Jennifer Dean told CNN affiliate Spectrum News 13 that she had never seen one this large.
“A lot of my neighbors were out here and they’re the ones that told me about the gator,” Dean said. “While we were standing here, we heard a shot. I assume they killed the gator.”
Witness JaMarcus Bullard said he saw an alligator with a body in its mouth.
“I could tell there was a body in his mouth, so I started recording,” Bullard told Spectrum News 13.
Officials humanely killed the 13-foot, 8.5-inch male, according to the sheriff’s office and Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission.
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