Authorities recover body of toddler killed by alligator at Disney resort

| June 16, 2016



LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WCTV Eyewitness News) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has found the body of a 2-year-old boy killed by an alligator at a Disney resort.

Authorities provided the update at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, the OCSO Dive Team located the toddler’s body.

The Sheriff’s Office also identified the boy as Lane Graves, and his parents as Matt and Melissa Graves. His family was visiting Orlando from Elkhorn, Nebraska.

The boy was with his family was on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon at about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday when he was grabbed and dragged into the water by an alligator. The father tried to fight the alligator to free him.

Authorities say the toddler’s body was located about 10 to 15 yards from the shore in water approximately 6 feet deep.

When asked if the child died from drowning, Sheriff Demings said, “The autopsy has to confirm that, but there’s no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator.”

Sheriff Demings added that the body was completely intact.

The attack happened in an area of the manmade lagoon where “no swimming” signs were posted. The toddler was wading in ankle-deep water when he was snatched.

Authorities say that while several alligators were captured and euthanized during the search, they have yet to find the specific alligator that they believe attacked the boy.

Sheriff Demings also cast doubt on the possibility that the parents will face any charges, saying there’s nothing to suggest “anything extraordinary” in terms of how they were caring for the boy.

The Sheriff added that authorities will be working with Disney on the issue of warning signs. While there were “no swimming” signs posted at the beach, there were no gator warnings or prohibitions against wading.

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