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Authorities discover body of toddler intact after horrific Disney gator attack

June 15, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Authorities discover body of toddler intact after horrific Disney gator attack

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Florida authorities have sadly recovered the body of a toddler snatched by an alligator in front of his mortified parents in a lagoon near a Disney World resort late Tuesday night. 

Orange County Sherrif Jerry Demings confirmed Wednesday afternoon that police divers recovered the body of 2-year-old Lane Graves intact, in waters six feet deep, just 10-15 yards from the area of the Seven Seas lagoon where the alligator snatched the child.

“The body was discovered completely intact, the body has now been turned over to the Orange County medical office for an autopsy,” Demings told reporters.

The sheriff along with a Catholic priest delivered the heartbreaking news to the boy’s parents identified as Matt and Melissa Graves from Elkhorn, Nebraska.

“Of course, the family was distraught but also, I believe, somewhat relieved that we were able to find their son with his body intact,” Demings said.

According to reports, the family, who had been on vacation, checked in to The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Disney resort on Sunday.

The toddler had been waning in shallow water mere feet away at the edge of the shoreline from his parents and siblings when the alligator, estimated to be between 4 and 7 feet, pounced on the boy. 

Officials said the attack had occurred in an area where no swimming signs are posted.

“Although the boy wasn’t swimming in the waters, he was playing on the edge of the shoreline in one or two feet of water,” Demings said.

The toddler’s father suffered cuts and lacerations as he desperately attempted to wrestle his son away from the ferocious reptile’s grip.

The parents frantically alerted a lifeguard, who was too far away from the scene of the attack to help the father.

A 50-person recovery team including trappers, divers, and helicopters frantically searched Disney’s network of man-made bodies of water, including ponds, lakes, and canals on Wednesday. 

Officials said five alligators were euthanized before they found the killer gator.

As a precautionary measure, Disney had closed all of its beaches at area resorts.

By Wednesday morning, hope for finding the boy for finding the boy began to fade, as authorities scoured the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney World’s The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. 

During a mid-afternoon press conference, Demings said emergency crews were now working to “recover the body.”

Demings said there were no recent reports of similar alligator attacks on the lake.

“Disney has operated here now for 45 years, and they’ve never had this type of thing happen here before,” he said.

George A. Kalogridis, the president of the Walt Disney World Resort issued a statement following the killing the 2-year-old boy, which said: “There are no words to convey the profound sorrow we feel for the family and their unimaginable loss. We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help the family during this difficult time. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer our deepest sympathies.”

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