Authorities have recovered a toddler's body from a Disney World lagoon after he was snatched and dragged into the water by an alligator on Tuesday evening.
Divers recovered the body of 2-year-old Lane Graves of Ekholm, Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. The body was found about 15 yards out from the shore and under six feet of water.
According to the sheriff’s office, the boy was dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon, a man-made lake, near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa on Tuesday around 9:30 p.m. local time.
The sheriff's office believes that the cause of death was drowning.
Demings said the family of four — including two children — was vacationing from Nebraska. The family was relaxing on the shoreline when the alligator suddenly attacked the toddler.
The alligator is estimated to be between four and seven feet long. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has reportedly euthanized five alligators in the hopes of finding the boy's remains, but have had no evidence they caught the right animal.
Demings explained that the boy's father entered the water and tried to grab him from the alligator, but was unsuccessful. He walked away with scratches on his hands. His parents then alerted a nearby lifeguard of the incident.
A helicopter hovered over the Victorian-style hotel while officials with Reedy Creek Fire Rescue, Orange County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission assisted in the search.
More than 50 law enforcement personnel searched the lagoon in addition to an alligator tracker and two marine units in an effort that continued through the night, Williamson said.
The hotel, one of three on Walt Disney World's monorail line, is an upscale luxury resort owned by Disney and located right next to the Magic Kingdom amusement park.
George Kalogridis, President of the Walt Disney World Resort, issued the following statement on Wednesday evening.
"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."
While there are no signs around the area warning of alligators, there are notices posted against swimming in the lake.