LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WCBD & WFLA) — Police in Florida say the body of 2-year-old Lane Graves, son of Matt and Melissa Graves of Elkhorn, NE, has been found after being snatched by an alligator at a Disney resort.
At a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m., Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said dive teams located what is believed to be the remains of Graves at around 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15.
Remains were recovered at 3:30 p.m. and turned over to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. We’re told his body was still intact.
Investigators say Graves’ was found in the immediate area of where he was last seen. It is believed that he was drowned by the alligator. No one else was in the water at the time of the attack, authorities added.
The boy and his family were relaxing along a sandy beach area at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando around 9 p.m., Tuesday, June 14 when the incident happened, officials say.
Sheriff Demings said the boy was about a foot into the water when his father spotted the alligator. The lake is called Seven Seas Lagoon and flows into Bay Lake.
“The father entered the water, and he tried to grab the child, and was not successful in doing so. At some point I’m told the mother may have entered the water. So the parents diligently tried to get the child,” Sheriff Demings said. “They alerted a nearby lifeguard there in the area as well. But they were unsuccessful in their efforts.”
During the search efforts overnight, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials pulled, and euthanized, four alligators from the water in order to check for evidence of the boy, however nothing was found.
Witnesses told authorities the alligator was between four and seven feet long.
The family was vacationing in Orlando from Nebraska. They also have a 4-year-old girl who is uninjured.
The only sign along the water is a “no swimming” sign.