ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Toddler's body found after alligator attack at Disney resort in Orlando

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The 2-year-old boy who was attacked by an alligator and dragged underwater near Disney World in Orlando on Tuesday has been found dead, CNN reports.

2607067+0616 Orlando Child.JPG
A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helicopter flies over the Seven Seas lagoon at Walt Disney World resort after an alligator dragged a two-year-old boy into the water in Orlando, Florida, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The 2-year-old boy who was attacked by an alligator and dragged underwater near Disney World in Orlando on Tuesday has been found dead, CNN reports.

"There's no question they will lose a 2-year-old child," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said during a press conference earlier on Wednesday. "It has been 15 hours since, we are working on recovering the body of the child at this point. The ultimate goal is to bring closure to the family."

Disney temporarily closed all resort beaches as a cautionary move on Wednesday morning in response to the alligator attack, a Disney spokesperson told CNN.

"What I can tell you is that Disney has operated for 45 years and they've never had this type of thing happen before," Deming continued. "It is Florida, and alligators are indigenous, but I want to reiterate that Disney has a wildlife management system in place, and they have worked diligently to ensure that their guests are not unduly exposed to wildlife here."

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the child was playing in the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa when he was attacked by the reptile, believed to be between 4 feet 7. The child's father rushed into the shallow water to wrestle the boy from the alligator, but was unsuccessful.

ADVERTISEMENT

Officials quickly responded to the scene and taped off the area.

The victim's family had traveled to Disney World on vacation from Nebraska with their three children, Demings told reporters outside the resort. The boy's mother had also been nearby when the attack occurred around 9:15 p.m. PT Tuesday night.

Nearly 50 rescuers, including Wildlife Fish and Game officials, were still searching for the little boy as of 2:00 a.m. ET.

A visibly shaken spokesman for the Walt Disney Company also addressed the media: "Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident," she said.

The upscale resort is one of three hotels located near the monorail line near the Magic Kingdom Park.

One hotel guest told the Orlando Sentinel that he and his family were playing near the beach when the attack took place.

"I'm just here to say a prayer," the guest said. "I can't imagine what those parents are going through. It's been one tough week in Orlando."

The man-made Seven Seas Lagoon is surrounded by a beach and several outdoor pools and bars.

ADVERTISEMENT

A number of families were outside enjoying "Movie Night" at the resort during the brutal encounter.

"We're going to hope for the best," Demings told reporters, "but based upon my law enforcement experience we know we have some challenges ahead of us."

What To Read Next
Stark County prosecutors prepare for pretrial conferences and jury trials scheduled for March
The investigation is ongoing.
“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.