Published On: Thu, Jun 16th, 2016

Body of Lane Graves, toddler snatched by alligator at Disney resort, found

The body of the 2-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at a Disney resort in Florida, The Grand Floridian, has been found, ending a desperate 18-hour search that began as a rescue operation and eventually became a recovery effort.

Late Wednesday afternoon officials announced that divers found the remains at 1:45 p.m., near the area where the boy was attacked the previous night; his body was recovered about two hours later, said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

The sheriff identified the toddler as Lane Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska. While a formal identification is pending, “there is no reason to believe that the body that was recovered is not that of Lane Graves,” Demings said.

Lane Graves

Lane Graves

The toddler’s body “was completely intact,” Demings said, noting that an autopsy will be performed. It appears Lane drowned in the roughly 172-acre lake after the gator pulled him underwater about 9 p.m.

Tuesday became a scene of horror as the child was grabbed, his father Matt tried to pry to 2-year-old son out of the jaws of the gator as Matt’s wife Melissa screamed for help. The vacation at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa near the Magic Kingdom park turned into a nightmare.

The attack happened in less than a minute, a witness said.

“The family has asked that we do deliver a message to you,” Demings said. “They do appreciate all the prayers that have gone … to allow us to do our jobs to recover their son, so that they can move forward at this time with a proper burial.”


Lane’s death marks the first gator attack on the park’s property since an alligator bit the legs of an 8-year-old boy, who survived, on Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground in 1986.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which generally responds to nuisance gator reports, gives Disney full autonomy in handling the problem and isn’t often involved.

“We have an open partnership with them where they can just call a trapper or have a staffer take out the alligator,” said Nick Wiley, executive director of the commission. “They take the action directly.”

Such attacks, especially with a toddler, are “very rare,” Wiley said.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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