The body of a 2-year-old boy attacked by an alligator at a Florida resort has been located by divers.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings confirmed at a press conference June 15 that a body had been removed from the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Walt Disney World resort where the incident occurred a day earlier, according to the Daily Mail.
Divers discovered the body about 1:45 p.m. and it was removed from the water at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The body is yet to be officially identified by a medical examiner.
“We have no reason to believe the body recovered is not that of Lane Graves,” Demings said, according to WESH.
Lane had been on vacation from Nebraska with his parents, Melissa and Matthew, and his 4-year-old sister.
Demings added that while the family was devastated by the loss, Lane’s parents were relieved his body had been recovered.
The alligator attack occurred during a movie night at the resort. The Graves family had set up a play pen around 20 feet from the water for Lane and his sister.
Lane was attacked as he waded around ten feet into the water. A lifeguard told the Daily Mail that the water was “not too deep,” and witnesses said it was about a foot deep.
Matthew, 42, rushed into the water to attempt and rescue his son. He received lacerations on his arm while trying to pull him away.
“We have lifeguards on duty at the play area but at the beach we don't have any lifeguards because you're not supposed to be in the water,” the lifeguard added to the Mail.
Around 50 people and two marine units were involved in the search.
Although “no swimming” signs were posted at the lagoon, there was nothing to warn about the presence of alligators.
Alligators are seen relatively frequently at the resort, but they are supposed to be removed when they reach four feet in length.
Rescue teams have captured and euthanized five alligators since the attack. However, they remain unsure if any of these animals carried out the fatal attack. Forensic tests will be required to find out.
The alligator was described by witnesses as between four and seven feet long.
“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 this family during this difficult time. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer our deepest sympathies,” a statement from Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis read, WESH reported.