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Wednesday afternoon the Orange County Sheriff’s Office dive team announced that they had recovered a 2-year-old boy who had been dragged away and drowned by an alligator, estimated to be between 4 ft. and 7 ft. in length. The boy and his parents had been at the Grand Floridian Resort, a Disney luxury hotel, when the boy who had been wading in about a foot of water was dragged off despite his father’s efforts to free him from the alligator.
The boy’s family was on the beach of a lagoon adjacent to the hotel when the incident occurred. No Swimming signs were posted at the Seven Seas Lagoon, but there were no signs warning of the presence of alligators
The Disney organization closed all the resort’s beaches after the incident. Florida Fish and Wildlife trappers seized and removed several alligators; it was not known whether they seized the attacking alligator.
The boy, was found after an all night search. He was identified as Lane Graves, the son of Matt and Melissa Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska.
Police said the body was found intact. The body was found 10-15 yards from the shore, where the water depth was about six feet.
Update: An autopsy report issued Thursday indicated the boy died from “drowning and traumatic injuries.”
George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, in a statement 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.”