A 2 year old boy was snatched by an alligator while vacationing at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort in Orlando.  The families of four was vacationing from Nebraska and were at a movie night outdoors at the resort when around 9 p.m. the boy waded into about a foot of water in a lagoon.  Witnesses said the attack was less than 30 seconds as the boy was snatched up and dragged underwater by a gator.

Witnesses, including the boy’s horrified parents, tried to save him. His father jumped in and tried to pry the gator’s mouth open. His mother jumped in as well but it was too late. The child was dragged underwater in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

The lagoon is connected to a series of canals that feed into large bodies of water and it is believed that is how the gators were in the lagoon.  There were “No Swimming” signs posted near the lagoon but no warnings that alligators may be in the lagoon.

A search began for the boy immediately, with boats from Disney searching along with law enforcement.  By midmorning Wednesday, Disney had closed all beaches in its resort area “out of an abundance of caution” after the attack, a Disney representative said.

Sadly, divers found the body of a 2-year-old boy intact in about 6 feet of murky water about 10 to 15 yards from where he was attacked.  The toddler was identified as Lane Graves of Nebraska.  Parents, Melissa and Matt Graves released a statement on their church’s website.  “Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country.” “We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest.  “Neither Melissa, myself or anyone from our family will be speaking publicly; we simply cannot at this time,” the family added.

The Graves, along with 4-year-old daughter Ella, returned to their Elkhorn, Nebraska, home on Thursday afternoon.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said the alligator may have already been caught, but that has not yet been confirmed.  “We’re going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved, and that we remove it from the lake,” he said.