Body Of Boy Snatched By Gator At Disney World Found

Wednesday, June 15th 2016, 4:41 pm
By: News On 6

The body of a 2-year-old boy who was dragged underwater by an alligator at an upscale resort at Disney World in Florida has been found, the local sheriff said Wednesday afternoon.

The boy's family from Nebraska was on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon at about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday when he was snatched and the father tried to fight the alligator but failed to free him.

By Wednesday morning, with no sightings of the boy, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said,"There's no question" the boy had perished.

Demings said that at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday the remains were recovered.

CBS News

The child has been identified as Lane Graves from Elk Horn, Nebraska.

Demings said the body was completely intact.

The search -- which covered a large, man-made lake and includes boats, helicopters and divers - has been suspended.

Many questions have arisen about the safety of the beach for visitors who might not be aware of the state's large alligator population. Demings said there was signage in the area of the attack advising no swimming.

6/15/2016 Related Story: Sheriff: 'No Question' Boy Attacked By Gator Is Dead

The boy was said to be wading in ankle-deep water when the attack took place.

"Disney has a wildlife management in place and they have worked diligently to ensure their guests haven't been exposed," Demings said, adding that in the 45-year history of the resort, this is the first such attack.

Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), told CBS News that if a gator "attacks a human it's mistaken."

Wiley said he had nothing but praise for the resort for being "very proactive in dealing with alligators."

In the past, when Disney officials have discovered alligators in the large lagoons near their resort they have largely been removed and euthanized.

Disney has closed its beaches at all of its properties in Florida as they assess the incident.

Since 1973, 23 people have been killed by wild alligators in Florida, according to data compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Those fatalities were among 383 unprovoked bites not caused by someone handling or intentionally harassing an alligator.