Lakes, swamps, and waterways are normal places to find gators in Florida. Smaller specimens under 10 feet are even expected to be seen in public parks. Yet at Ridgecrest Park in Largo, FL, they are growing at a rapid pace.
Spotted on September 22nd, a 13 ft 8.5 in. gator was floating around with a human hanging from his jaws like a massive toothpick. Once identified from air, the gator was “humanely euthanized” and then hauled away. After the all-clear was given, dive teams from the Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office entered the water to retrieve the body. Later, the victim was identified as 41-year-old Sabrina Peckham.
An autopsy will be performed in the hopes of determining the time and cause of death.
Initially reported by JaMarcus Ballard, he also had footage of the gator attack. “I could tell there was a body in its mouth, so I started recording. I came down to the fire department and reported it to them.” He also claimed he heard multiple shots after the officers cleared the area to harvest the gator.
Along with other residents, Ballard said there are numerous well-known gators in the area and at that park, but none this big. No resident could recall having seen or even hearing of a gator this stature in the parks in Pinellas County.
That section of Pinellas County is widely known for its high level of poverty as well as methamphetamine and fentanyl use. This makes foul play, as well as a bad drug interaction or an overdose, more likely than usual. Then again, this is just outside the center of Florida Man Country.
Chilling but powerful footage: