Society

Parents Tried To Save Son As He Was Attacked By Alligator

| by Michael Howard
An American alligatorAn American alligator

The parents of the 2-year-old boy who was pulled into a Florida lake by an alligator tried to fight off the animal as it grabbed their child, police said.

The body of Lane Graves was recovered June 15, a day after the incident, about 10 to 15 yards from where he was attacked, according to KIRO.

Matt and Melissa Graves reportedly went into the water after the alligator in an attempt to save their son.

"The father entered the water and he tried to grab the child," Sheriff Jerry Demings said, KIRO reports. "At some point, I'm told the mother may have entered the water. So the parents diligently tried to get the child."

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Matt sustained minor cuts to his arm during the struggle.

The couple and their three children are from Elkhorn, Nebraska, and were visiting Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa on vacation. Lane and his father were walking in about 1 foot of water when the alligator attacked shortly after 9 p.m.

Lane reportedly drowned to death. His body was intact when authorities pulled it from the lake, according to KETV.

"We have no reason to believe the body recovered is not that of Lane Graves," Demings said.

"Of course the family was distraught but I also think [they were] somewhat relieved," he added, KIRO notes. "They can come to grips with what is happening."

Search efforts lasted throughout the night of June 14 and into the following day. More than 50 officers were involved.

Nick Wiley, director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said five alligators have since been captured and euthanized. However, they don't know for sure whether the alligator that attacked Lane was among them.

"There's a good chance that we already have that alligator," Wiley said.

A Walt Disney World spokesperson spoke on behalf of the resort at a news conference.

"Everyone here at Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident," the spokesperson said, according to KETV. "Our thoughts are with the family and we are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist them." 

Sources: KIRO, KETV / Photo Credit: Skeetdeloach via Wikimedia Commons

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