Sabrina Peckham, 41, died earlier this month after an apparent attack with a 13-foot alligator. Her daughter Breauna Dorris wrote heartfelt posts on Facebook in honour of her mother on Sunday. “The past 24 hours have been filled with grief and sorrow and unbearable pain for our family,” she began.
“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. “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.”
She described her mother as a part “of the homeless population that lived in the nearby wooded area”. Ms Dorris added, “It is believed that she may have been walking to or from her campsite near the creek in the dark and the alligator attacked from the water.”
The grieving daughter launched a GoFundMe page, with donations going toward crematory expenses and “laying her to rest in our family plot.” She wrote in the Facebook post, “We expected to have many many more years with her. Unfortunately god has called her home sooner than our hearts were ready.”
The fundraiser has earned $8,000 out of the $10,000 target amount as of Monday morning.
Peckham was pulled from a canal in Largo after witnesses reported the gator had a corpse in its mouth on 22 September.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement on Saturday that the medical examiner’s office has yet to determine Peckham’s official manner and cause of death. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, police said on Saturday.
The animal was “humanely killed” and pulled from the canal, officials previously said.
A memorial is being held for Peckham on the bridge off 121st Street and 134th Avenue in Largo, Florida. Ms Dorris said that her mother’s favourite color was pink, “so I’d love to see the bridge filled with pink flowers.”
Ms Dorris also said that “a balloon release” will be held to honour her mother on 29 September for my mother 6pm at the same bridge. “Anyone is welcome. I have learned over this short period of time that in times like this people need to come together and support each other,” she wrote.