Alligator Drags Boy into Water at Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort
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UPDATE: 4:45 p.m. ET 6/15/16
The body of the two-year-old boy who was attacked and dragged into the water by an alligator was found at around 1:45 p.m. local time by divers from the local sheriff’s department, according to the Palm Beach Post. The child has been identified as Lane Graves, the son of Matt and Melissa Graves of Elk Horn, Nebraska.
BREAKING: Sheriff: Searchers recovered body of 2-year-old boy killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World in Florida.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 15, 2016
UPDATE: 2:25 p.m. ET 6/15/16
Police officials handling the case of the two-year-old child who was attacked by an alligator and dragged into the water at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World have announced that the boy is “almost certainly dead,” according to NBCNews.com.
Emergency personnel originally classified the quest to find the boy as a search-and-rescue operation, but it is now being considered a recovery effort by local police.
“It has been now about 15 hours since the child was taken into the water, so we know that we are working on recovering the body of the child at this point,” authorities announced at a press conference. “Our ultimate goal is to try to bring some closure to the family by recovering their loved one.”
UPDATE: 12:15 p.m. ET 6/15/16
In response to an alligator attacking a two-year-old child and dragging him into the water near the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World, Disney has announced the closure of all 26 resort beaches “in an abundance of caution,” according to FoxNews.com.
The young boy has yet to be found, and emergency divers are on standby at the scene.
On Tuesday night, a two-year-old boy was dragged by an alligator into the water of the lagoon behind Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort.
According to MyNews13.com, the young boy was with his father on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon behind Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort at around 9 p.m. local time Tuesday when the alligator attacked the child and dragged him into the water.
The boy’s father attempted to save his son from the animal, but was unable to rescue him and suffered cuts to his arms from the animal. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and more than 50 police officers were on the scene, but the body of the boy has yet to be found.
Representatives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced during a press conference that authorities are still treating the situation as a search and rescue. Four alligators found in the lagoon have been euthanized already, but experts don’t believe any of them are responsible for attacking the child.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings announced that the family of the child was from Nebraska and were at the resort on vacation. They were wading in the water on the lagoon's edge—despite signs that say no swimming in the area—when the alligator grabbed the boy and brought him into the water.
Nebraska family of five says 4-7ft. alligator pulled their 2yo son into the water at Disney. FWC says 9hr search has shown no sign of him.— Laura Moody Fox 13 (@LauraMoodyFox13) June 15, 2016
“We want to hope for the best in these circumstances, but based upon my 35 years in law enforcement we know that we have some challenges ahead,” Demings told MyNews13.com. “We will be out and about in the night and in the morning, if you will, to (be) able to have a peaceful and successful resolution.”
“We are not leaving until we find the child. We are out actively searching the lake,” Demings said. “We have two of our marine units that are on the lake searching for the child. In addition, we will be working with the Fish and Wildlife Commission to continue these efforts for the next several hours.”
Officials from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said they have never seen anything like this before at Disney World and have not received any reports of nuisance gators in the lagoon. Police also announced that Disney is cooperating with the operation.
“Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident,” a Disney spokesperson told MyNews13.com.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that it was very rare for alligators to attack people, with only nine people being attacked by alligators since 2015. In total, there have been 383 recorded attacks since 1948.
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