The parents of the little boy who got killed by an alligator at Disney World in Florida finally break their silence days after the tragic death of their child, the Mirror reports.
The 2-year-old, Lane Graves, was dragged to his death by an alligator after he waded into the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon on Tuesday night. The boy’s parents, along with some witnesses, tried to save the boy’s life as the alligator dragged him into the water.
Search patrols scoured the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon for 17 hours before they found the boy’s body on Wednesday afternoon. The search patrols reportedly killed five alligators during the search, opening them up in the hopes of finding the boy’s body.
Forensics personnel are planning on determining whether one of the five alligators the search patrols captured was the one who killed Lane Graves. One method they’ll be using is comparing the bite marks with the teeth of the captured alligators, officials said.
If it turns out that none of the alligators was responsible for the toddler’s death, a new search team will be sent to find the alligator.
“We’re going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved, and that we remove it from the lake,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said in a statement.
The boy reportedly died of drowning and traumatic injuries inflicted by the alligator, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office said on Thursday.
On Thursday, the boy’s parents, Matt and Melissa Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska, said in an official statement that they’re “devastated” over their son’s death.
“Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing over the loss of our son. We are devastated and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time,” they said. “To all of the local authorities and staff who worked tirelessly these past 24 hours, we express our deepest gratitude.”
Meanwhile, a senior source at Disney told CNN that alligator warning signs will be installed near all the waterways at Walt Disney World resorts “as soon as possible.” There are no alligator warning signs installed near the waterways of the Disney Florida resorts, only “No Swimming” signs.
Around mid-morning Wednesday, Disney closed all beaches in the Florida resorts “out of an abundance of caution” following the alligator attack, according to a representative. As of today, all beaches at Disney World resorts remain closed until further notice.
A spokeswoman for Disney World in Florida said that officials from the resort are reviewing the placement and wording to be used on the warning signs before they are installed near the waterways.
“We are conducting a swift and thorough review of all of our processes and protocols,” Walt Disney World Resort Vice President Jacquee Wahler said on Thursday. “This includes the number, placement and wording of our signage and warnings.”
A massive outpouring of support and condolences were offered to the Graves family since news of a boy who got killed by an alligator in Florida spread on the internet.
The business company Matt works for, Omaha Infogroup, released a statement to express their grief over their colleague’s loss.
“Matt’s family is the light of his life and his family’s anguish is our own,” the statement said, as reported by KMTV. “What happened last night was a terrible accident and one that is devastating to the entirety of Infogroup.”
Pete Ricketts, the governor of the Graves family’s home state, Nebraska, tweeted his condolences on Thursday.
“Our hearts are breaking for the Graves family in Orlando. You have our thoughts, prayers, and all of our support during this time,” tweeted the governor.
Do you think Disney is doing enough to ensure that all beaches in their Florida resorts are safe from alligator attacks? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]