Florida police recover body of child attacked by alligator at Disney lake

- Police in Florida are updating the case of the child attacked by an alligator last night.

Officials at a press conference Wednesday announced that the body of the 2-year-old was found at 1:45 p.m. 

Police identified the boy as Lane Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska. The boy's parents were identified as Matt and Melissa Graves. Elkhorn is a suburban area of Omaha. A family friend released a statement on behalf of the couple thanking well-wishers for their "thoughts and hope-filled prayers."

"Of course the family was distraught, but also I believe somewhat relieved that his body was found intact," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told a news conference.

Demings said it appeared the gator drowned the child and left the body near the spot where he was last seen. An autopsy was planned. There are "No Swimming" signs posted at the lagoon, but no signs warning of alligators.

The boy was wading in about a foot of water when he was attacked. His father jumped in after him but could not break the alligator's grasp.

Investigators are working to identify the alligator and remove it from the area. Five alligators have been collected from the area. 

Demings said that Disney was been cooperative and worked with investigators after the attack.

He estimated the attack happened about 10 to 15 yards out and the water was six feet deep.

Parents of the toddler, who was pulled into the lake at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, tried to save him but could not pull the child free from the alligator. The toddler was on vacation with a family of five at the time. 

Disney officials have closed all of the beaches at their resorts following the incident at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The measure to close the beaches was taken "in an abundance of caution," Disney said.

Earlier, authorities revealed that 4 alligators had already been trapped and euthanized overnight. Those alligators will be further examined, but officials believe the alligator they are searching for is still at large. 

According to investigators, a 911 call was placed around 9:15 p.m. and emergency crews began searching the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon, near the resort. Fifty law enforcement personnel were deployed, including two marine units with the Sheriff's Office. In addition to a ground and water search, a helicopter was used from above.   

 Demings says Disney has never had anything like this happen in 45 years of operations. He says the theme parks' wildlife management system works diligently to keep guests safe from dangerous Florida creatures, removing or killing any alligators they find.

 Experienced alligator trappers, sheriff's department divers and sonar equipment are being used to search a network of man-made canals, ponds and lakes where the gator may have taken the boy. 

---The Associated Press contributed to this report

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