After the tragic alligator attack leading to a 2-year-old boy's death at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, a mother has revealed that her son was wading in the exact spot where the toddler was taken, just 30 minutes before the attack occurred on June 14.
Jennifer Vendetti took her son Channing to the resort's lagoon, a half hour before Matt and Melissa Graves saw their 2-year-old son Lane ripped away by an alligator, according to TMZ. Channing reportedly waded in the same spot where the attack took place.
While there were signs indicating that swimming in the lagoon was forbidden, there were reportedly no signs posted in the area warning of alligators in the water. Other resorts in the area have been reported to have signs specifically warning guests about the danger of gators.
Only a short time later, an alligator in the lagoon snatched Lane. His father rushed in to save the boy but was unable to fight off the alligator and sustained minor hand injuries during the incident, according to USA Today. The toddler's mother also ran into the water to try to save her son, but the couple was unable to wrest their child away from the creature's grip.
They asked a nearby lifeguard for help, who called 911, sparking a nearly 17-hour search. Around 3:30 p.m. on June 15, Lane's remains were found.
"As a parent and a grandparent, my heart goes out to the Graves family during this time of devastating loss," said Bob Iger, Disney's CEO and chairman, USA Today reports. "My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I know everyone at Disney joins me in offering our deepest sympathies."
In a post that went viral on Facebook, Vendetti told others not to judge the Graves, because it could have been her son taken as well, according to WTIC.
"I took these pics at the exact spot this happened [between] 8 & [8:30]," Jennifer wrote. "The incident happened at 9."
"How does one go home without your baby in tow?" she added. "I’ve already seen posts criticizing the parents. I can assure you alligators were not on my mind at all when Channing was in the water. It’s a tiny beach, surrounded by pools, water slides, a restaurant and a fire pit. I can’t conceive that an alligator would be in such a busy, small space."
She concluded her post with the hashtag #judgelesspraymore.