A 2 year-old toddler snatched by alligator in front of his horrified parents at a Disney resort in Orlando on Tuesday.
According to reports on Wednesday morning, authorities said the joint agency effort had officially become a recovery effort after night came and went with no sign of the 2-year-old.
On a Wednesday morning press conference, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the toddler snatched by alligator is in “no question”, dead.
“We’re working on recovering the body of the child at this point,” he said.
Reportedly, the incident happpened according to officials that the Nebraska family was relaxing beside the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa around 9 p.m. when the 4 to 7-foot gator attacked the boy and dragged him into the water.
The boy’s desperate father then attempted to go in after the alligator, police say.
“The father entered the water and tried to grab the child from the gator, but was not successful,” Orange County Sheriff’s Jerry Demings said at a press conference.
Several officers from multiple rescue agencies swarmed the lake after the family alerted a lifeguard about the attack.
“There were eyewitnesses who certainly saw the child taken under the water,” Demings said. “We know that happened and it is certainly not survivable at this point for him to have been submerged for that period of time.”
According to reports, searching took hours but the toddler snatched by Alligator was not seen in the man-made lake.
While Demings said this has become a recovery effort, he added “we’re not leaving until we recover the child.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they have taken four alligators out of the lake to be euthanized and analyzed. However, none were believed to be behind the attack.
Authorities also revealed that there are no recent reports of nuisance gators in the lake. While there are no warning signs about the creatures, there are signs that warn against swimming.
“Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.” Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resort, said in a statement.
Unfortunately, the body of a 2-year-old Nebraska boy was recovered Wednesday, ending a ghastly search at one of the world’s most popular tourist destination.
Divers found the body of Lane Graves about 16 hours after authorities first got the call that a reptile had taken the boy from the water’s edge at Seven Seas Lagoon despite his father’s frantic attempt to save the child.
Sheriff Jerry Demings said it appeared the gator pulled the child into deeper water and drowned him, leaving the body near the spot where he was last seen. An autopsy was planned.
“Of course the family was distraught, but also I believe somewhat relieved that his body was found intact,” Demings told a news conference.