Body of two-year-old boy attacked by alligator at Disney World recovered

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida -- The 2-year-old boy who witnesses said was pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near a Walt Disney World hotel has been found dead by the Orange County dive team, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told reporters at a Wednesday news conference in Orlando.

Florida's Orange County Sheriff's Office tweeted a picture of Lane Graves, the young boy that died in the Disney gator attack. The tweet included this message "Deepest condolences to the Graves family. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time."

Florida's Orange County Sheriff's Office tweeted a picture of Lane Graves, the young boy that died in the Disney gator attack. The tweet included this message "Deepest condolences to the Graves family. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time."

The body of the boy, Lane Graves, was found intact at about 12:45 p.m. CDT, not far from where the boy was grabbed Tuesday night, Demings said.

He likely drowned, Demings said.

The 2-year-old boy who was grabbed Tuesday night, June 14, 2016, by an alligator near a Walt Disney World resort hotel is believed dead, Orange Count, FL Sheriff Jerry Demings said Wednesday. Demings noted that it has been 15 hours since the attack and rescue officials are trying to recover the body.

The 2-year-old boy who was grabbed Tuesday night, June 14, 2016, by an alligator near a Walt Disney World resort hotel is believed dead, Orange Count, FL Sheriff Jerry Demings said Wednesday. Demings noted that it has been 15 hours since the attack and rescue officials are trying to recover the body.

"Of course, the autopsy has to confirm that, but there is likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator," Demings said.

Demings said the body was located not far from where the boy was grabbed Tuesday night.

The sheriff also said the Graves family had a message for everyone -- that they appreciate all the prayers being sent their way.

The child was on the edge of the lagoon when the alligator dragged him into the water, according to the boy's family, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley. He cautioned that the investigation is still in an early stage and officials need to interview at least two other families who may have witnessed the attack.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the child was "wading ... along the lake's edge at the time that the alligator attacked."

Williamson said the boy was in less than a foot of water.

Parents rush into water to save son

The family of four -- the boy, his parents and his 4-year-old sister -- was on vacation from Nebraska, Demings said. They arrived Sunday.

The parents watched as the alligator attacked the toddler at the Seven Seas Lagoon. The lagoon is connected to a series of canals that feed into large bodies of water.

"The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator," he said. The father suffered minor scratches on his hand but was unsuccessful in getting his son back.

The mother also went into the water, trying to find her child, he said.

"The sad reality of it is it's been several hours, and we're not likely going to recover a live body," Demings said.

He said there is no record of similar incidents in this particular area.

A handful of people witnessed the attack and supplied police with information.

Witnesses said the family was on the beach, and the boy's sister was in a playpen about 20 to 30 yards from the water, according to Demings. The toddler was nearby, wading in the water.

There are "No Swimming" signs at the lagoon, and no one else was in the water at the time of the attack besides the child, Demings said.

Declan Salcido, who's on vacation with relatives from San Jose, California, said the "No Swimming" signs are visible "from any vantage point."

The lagoon is not for recreational swimming.

"This is Florida, and it's not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water," Demings said.

Many on social media lambasted the child's parents, while others urged compassion.

Some people said a "No swimming" sign is hardly sufficient if alligators could be lurking.

8 comments

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  • Truth Hertz

    Signs said no swimming, they could be seen from any vantage point, and yet a boy is dead from wading in the water. Anyone seeing a problem with this story?

    • Clavius

      Kids his age dont read signs, Im sure the parents feel terrible possibly suicidal about letting this accident happen, no need to rub it in or make jokes about a 2 year olds death. Ive seen a lot of offensive comments on the internet made by racist whites, but even they have boundaries they dont cross. anti white racists are the most hateful, morally warped, demented group I have ever seen. Very desperate and pathetic to jump on this story just because it involves “white” people.

  • Barry

    2 year old died, you dont make jokes or you just sound like a disgusting scum bag..not funny Dan. The drugs warped your humor.

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