An alligator attacked and dragged a 2-year-old boy from the water’s edge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Law Enforcement is searching the Seven Seas Lagoon where the attack happened Tuesday night.
He has been identified as Lane Graves, 2. He was in Florida with his parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, of Elkhorn, Nebraska.
A search is underway. Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that wildlife officials captured and killed four alligators from the lagoon to check them for traces of the child. So far no evidence shows they were involved.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Boy Was at the Side of the Lagoon With His Parents & 4-Year-Old Sister
According to Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings, the boy was at the edge of the lagoon with his parents and siblings when the alligator pulled him away. The boy’s parents went into the water in a desperate attempt to save their child, but were unsuccessful.
The family is vacationing from Nebraska, Demings said. The boy’s 4-year-old sister was also at the side of the lake.
The attack happened at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. The family had arrived at the resort on Sunday.
2. The Boy’s Father Tried Wrestling the Alligator Away
Sheriff Demings said the boy’s father tried wrestling with the alligator as it pulled his son further into the water. The parents and lifeguard desperately searched for signs of the boy, but found none.
Authorities said witnesses described the gator as being between four and seven feet in length.
3. Law Enforcement Desperately Searched the Lake
Dozens of law enforcement and two marine units were searching for the child, and a dive team with sonar equipment is on standby, according to officials. Police searched for nearly a day before recovering the boy’s body.
“We’re not leaving until we recover the child. We’re putting every effort into locating the child and trapping this alligator. We’ll be here with them until there’s a resolution.” Demings said at a press conference. He went onto say:
As a father, as a grandfather, we’re going to hope for the best in these circumstances, but based on my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know we have some challenges ahead of us.
On Wednesday, Demings said the trauma the boy suffered was “not survivable.”
4. There Were ‘No Swimming’ Signs Posted at the Lagoon
Sheriff Demings said there are “No Swimming” signs posted at the lagoon. The child was the only person in the water at the time of the attack.
“This is Florida and it’s not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water,” he said in the news conference.
Disney has closed access to its pools and beaches as the search continues, and no other boats other than those involved in the search are on the water.
5. Disney Says It Is ‘Devastated’ by the Attack
A Disney official told The Orlando Sentinel that they were “devastated” by the event.
A guest at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, A.J. Jain, told the station they were on the beach with friends when the incident happened. He said, “I’m just here to say a prayer. I can’t imagine what those parents are going through. It’s been one tough week in Orlando.”
This story will be updated as information becomes available.