The body of Lane Graves, the 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World by an alligator, has been recovered.

Lane Graves’ Body Found

Authorities confirmed Wednesday afternoon that dive teams had located Graves’ remains. The toddler appeared to have suffered puncture wounds, and likely drowned when the alligator dragged him down into the lagoon Tuesday evening.

“His body was completely intact. The body has now been turned over to the Orange County medical office for an autopsy. Of course, the family was distraught but also, I believe, somewhat relieved that we were able to find their son with his body intact,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings said, adding of the likelihood that Graves drowned, “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.”

The sheriff’s department released a statement on behalf of Lane Graves’ parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, which reads, “The Graves family appreciates the support they have received and have asked for privacy as they grieve the loss of their son.”

George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, expressed his condolences in a statement. “We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help the family during this difficult time.”

The roughly 7-foot-long alligator grabbed the boy as he was playing in the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Tuesday after 9 p.m., wading in about a foot of water with his father, reported USA Today. Though the father made an attempt to save the boy from the alligator’s grasp, he couldn’t pull him to safety. Attempts by the mother to rescue the small child also proved futile.

Unable to get their son back from the alligator, the parents informed a lifeguard of the situation and 911 was called. The Orange Country Sheriff’s office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers then began a search for the toddler.


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“People – even small people – are not their typical prey,” Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said. “They were probably attracted to some motion on the bank. That’s the way they stalk their prey.”

The Seven Seas Lagoon at the upscale Grand Floridian is marked with “no swimming” signs, though there is no mention of alligators on the signs. There are no previous incidences of alligator attacks at the hotel.

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