Toddler's Body Recovered After Gator Attack at Disney Resort in Orlando
"My heart goes out to the Graves family during this time of devastating loss," Disney CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday.
The body of a two-year-old boy suddenly taken by an alligator Tuesday while the child was on the property of an Orlando Disney resort has been recovered, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.
The body was found around 1:45 p.m. ET, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Deming said. The body was intact, he added.
"I delivered the message [to the family] along with a Catholic priest," Deming said.
"This is very concerning to Disney," Deming said earlier in the morning. He added that Disney is doing all it can to make the unidentified child's family "comfortable."
Disney released a statement shortly after the body was recovered.
"There are no words to convey the profound sorrow we feel for the family and their unimaginable loss," George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort said in the statement. "We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help them during this difficult time. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer them our deepest sympathy."
Disney CEO Bob Iger also released a statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying, “As a parent and a grandparent, my heart goes out to the Graves family during this time of devastating loss. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I know everyone at Disney joins me in offering our deepest sympathies.”
The family is from Elkhorn, Neb. The boy's name was Lane Graves, authorities said.
Deming said he believes the boy drowned.
Disney temporarily closed all beach properties following the incident.
Authorities said multiple alligators from that area have been captured, and one may be the killer.
The boy was snatched by an alligator while the child was with his family on the property of the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Hotel.
His father instantly responded, but was unable to seize the child from the gator, which dragged the child underwater.
"Disney has been here now 45 years and this has never happened before," Deming said. He added that Disney has its own "wildlife management system" in place.
There are signs in the area where the child was grabbed that read "no swimming," the sheriff said, but it is unclear if there are signs warning of alligators.
Disney issued this statement shortly after news broke of the child being taken Tuesday: “Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”
Sheriff Demings: This is tough situation. it has been 15 hours since child taken into water by alligator. We are working to recover body.— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 15, 2016
Sheriff Demings: This is complicated event. This is a man-made lake. There are 50 OCSO personnel here. Marine unit here using sonar.— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 15, 2016
Sheriff Demings: Working to bring closure to family. No incident like this in Disney 45 year history. Witnesses saw child taken by gator.— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 15, 2016
June 15, 1:30 p.m.: Updated with the information that the boy's body has been recovered.