The 2-year-old boy who was dragged by an alligator on Tuesday night, sparking a widespread search, at a Disney World resort was killed by the gator.
The family of the boy was notified by police.
Members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office dive team “located the remains” of the boy, identified as 2-year-old Lane Graves. “The child is dead … [and] drowned by the alligator,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The parents, he said, are Matt and Melissa Graves from Elkhorn, Nebraska.
The remains were recovered from the water at 3:30 p.m. The “body was turned over to the Orange County Medical Examiner” for an autopsy.
The effort to continue to work with Disney will “go forward.”
The family appreciates the “prayers that have gone forward” to them. Demings said the family was on vacation and “enjoying the evening,” saying the 2-year-old was on the edge of the bank when the gator pulled the boy under the water.
Demings, who said he delivered the message to the family along with a Catholic priest, said the family was “somewhat relieved” that the body was found intact.
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The child had waded no more than 1 or 2 feet into the water of the Seven Seas Lagoon around nightfall Tuesday, officials said. They were on vacation at a Disney World resort.
The boy’s father desperately attempted to fight off the gator, suffering cuts to his hand, but he couldn’t save his son, police said.
“No swimming” signs were later posted at the beach, but the child was wading, not swimming, Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, told The Associated Press.
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Demings added that there have been no other alligator attacks at the lake.
The sheriff added that the company has a wildlife management system that “worked diligently to ensure their guests are not unduly exposed to wildlife here in this area.
Nick Wiley, a spokesperson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, added that witnesses estimated that the alligator was between 4 feet to 7 feet long.