Police using boats, divers and a helicopter on Wednesday recovered the body of a 2-year-old boy after an alligator dragged him into a lagoon in front of his family during a vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, CNN reported citing an unnamed source.
The child was snatched as he played at the water's edge on Tuesday night, despite his parents' effort to save him, by an alligator believed to be between 4 and 7 feet (1.2 and 2 meters) long. Officials are expected to hold a press conference shortly.
Wildlife officials had earlier caught and killed five alligators from the lagoon to examine them for traces of the boy but found no evidence they were involved, said Nick Wiley, head of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The resort closed its beaches and recreational marinas on Wednesday as search teams had scoured the Seven Seas Lagoon, a man-made lake reaching 14 feet in depth.
The family, which was vacationing from Nebraska, was not named.
The dozens of sheriff's deputies and wildlife officials searching for the boy on Wednesday, numbering as many as 60, had used sonar technology, helicopters and a team of divers.
An alligator at a Disney resort dragged a toddler from his family into the water on Tuesday night, and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Wednesday afternoon that the boy's family "will no question lose a 2-year-old child."
The Associated Press reported that the search for the body is continuing in the Seven Seas Lagoon off the shore of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando. Demings said that it appears the attack is "certainly not survivable at this point."
WESH-TV reported that the child was wading in about a foot of water with his father about 9:30 p.m. when the alligator reportedly grabbed him.
Demings estimated the alligator may have been from four to seven feet long.
"The father entered the water and tried to grab the child and was not successful in doing so. The mother also may have been in the water. So the parents diligently tried to get the child," said Demings.
The vacationing family from Nebraska includes a 4-year-old girl, said CNN.
While there were no warnings of alligators in the area, signs were posted against swimming in the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon, reported the Orlando Sentinel. The resort is an upscale luxury hotel connected via monorail to the Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park, noted the newspaper.
The Sentinel said about 50 searchers from Reedy Creek Fire Rescue, Orange County and Florida Fish and Wildlife looked for the child.
According to CNN, Deming said he had no records of a similar attack happening in that area.
"Everyone here at the Walt Disney Resort is devastated by this tragic accident," Jacquee Wahler, the vice president of the Walt Disney World Resort, said in a statement, per CNN. "Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement."
Chad Weber, an officer with the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife, said his agency has deployed an alligator trapper in its search, said CNN.
"We're putting every effort into locating the child and trapping this alligator," Weber said, according to CNN. "We'll be here with them until there's a resolution."
The incident was the third tragedy in the Orlando area within a week, noted the Sentinel. Singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed at the Plaza Live after a concert Friday. The gunman killed himself after the shooting.
Then early Sunday, a gunman opened fire at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50.
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