According to a CNN breaking news update, posted at 4:00 p.m. EST, authorities have found the body of a two-year-old boy involved in a Disney World Alligator attack on Tuesday, say sources close to the investigation. The horrific incident happened at around 9:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday at the Grand Floridian resort, which is just across the street from Walt Disney World in Florida. Reportedly, guests at the hotel were enjoying an outdoor movie night when the boy waded into a man-made water feature at the Disney World resort. It was then that he became the victim of an unprecedented alligator attack and was dragged into the water.
According to multiple eyewitness accounts of the event, there were “No Swimming” signs visible from virtually every vantage point near the Disney World water feature, and the 2-year-old boy was the only one in the water at the time of the alligator attack.
When horrified onlookers realized what was happening, the boy’s frantic parents sprung into action in an attempt to save their child from the jaws of the attacking alligator. Both parents reportedly entered the water to try to get their 2-year-old away from the alligator, with the boy’s father actively trying to pry the alligator’s jaws open.
The parents’ attempts to rescue their child from the Disney World alligator attack were unsuccessful, and the alligator disappeared into the water with the child. Attempts to rescue the toddler began immediately, with Disney World providing boats to search the water feature and local authorities bringing helicopters, and later dive teams, to the scene.
Early Wednesday afternoon, roughly 15 hours after the Disney World alligator attack, local law enforcement announced that they were changing their search efforts from rescue to recovery, declaring the 2-year-old child dead after that length of time under the water.
Stay tuned for updates.
Authorities are now identifying the 2-year-old killed in an alligator attack at a Disney World resort in Florida as Lane Graves. According to a CNN report, authorities found the body of the toddler killed in the Disney World alligator attack not far from where he went missing after being dragged away from the shore of a man-made lagoon at the Grand Floridian resort.
According to reports, the boy’s body was found and recovered, intact, at about 1:45 p.m. EST on Wednesday, and authorities are speculating that he likely drowned. Local Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings broke the news at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
“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.”
Since news of the Disney World alligator attack tragedy broke, people have taken to social media to share their thoughts on the situation. Some offered condolences and prayers to the family, while others placed the blame for the alligator attack on the shoulders of parents who allowed their child to play in Florida waters clearly labeled “No Swimming.”
The toddler was, by all accounts, the only person in the water when the alligator attack took place.
@Newsweek— Liz Jordan (@liz727) June 15, 2016
"Completely intact." Thank God. Alternative was unthinkable. Sincere condolences to his family. What a tragedy. RIP little boy.
Following the report of the child being attacked by an alligator at the Disney World resort, Disney closed beaches in the area out of an “abundance of caution” as local law enforcement searched frantically for the missing toddler.
'It was a tough message to deliver’ says Florida Sheriff Jerry Demings after telling Nebraska family. https://t.co/uyc9AjnIfR— CBC News (@CBCNews) June 15, 2016
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings has said that this is the first such recorded attack of its kind in the area and used the Disney World alligator attack tragedy to remind people that Florida is the natural habitat for the American alligator. Alligators are found in many bodies of water in the state, both natural and man-made, and people need to exercise caution especially at night, and especially when those bodies of water are clearly marked as being off-limits to swimmers.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Disney World alligator attack.
[Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo]