Sheriff: Body of boy killed by gator recovered - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sheriff: Body of boy killed by gator recovered

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Authorities search the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa after an alligator dragged a two-year-old child into the water. (PC: CBS News Via Twitter User -  @KATHERINEPOPP) Authorities search the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa after an alligator dragged a two-year-old child into the water. (PC: CBS News Via Twitter User - @KATHERINEPOPP)
This image taken from video provided by courtesy of WKMG shows an area near where an alligator dragged a 2-year-old boy into the water near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Fla. This image taken from video provided by courtesy of WKMG shows an area near where an alligator dragged a 2-year-old boy into the water near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Fla.
Florida Fish and Wildlife and an Orange County Sheriffs helicopter search for a toddler early Wednesday, June 15, 2016, after the boy was dragged into the water Tuesday night by an alligator. Florida Fish and Wildlife and an Orange County Sheriffs helicopter search for a toddler early Wednesday, June 15, 2016, after the boy was dragged into the water Tuesday night by an alligator.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings speaking at a press conference Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings speaking at a press conference Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on search for boy dragged away by alligator (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says searchers have recovered the body of a 2-year-old Nebraska boy snatched by an alligator at Walt Disney World.

The boy was attacked Tuesday night as he waded in shallow water at the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian resort.

Demings identified the boy as Lane Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska.

The search team grew to 50 people Wednesday as trappers and divers searched Disney's network of man-made canals, ponds and lakes. At least five other alligators were caught and cut open before they found the killer.

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12:20

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says Walt Disney World has been providing "amazing" support as they search for the body of a 2-year-old boy who was snatched by an alligator.

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 sheriff says that after 15 hours of searching, the attack is "certainly not survivable at this point."

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.

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12:10

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says some 50 people are now "working on recovering the body" of a 2-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at Walt Disney World.

He says the boy's family "will no question lose a 2-year-old child."

Some 50 people are now using sonar equipment as they search a system of lakes and ponds linked by canals to the Seven Seas Lagoon where the boy was attacked while wading in about a foot of water at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Demings says they are trying to "bring some closure to this family."

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11:45

Disney is closing all beach areas in its Lake Buena Vista resorts after an alligator dragged away a 2-year-old boy at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

The company announced Wednesday that it's closing the beaches in "an abundance of caution."

Officials say the little boy was wading at the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon around nightfall Tuesday when an alligator estimated to be between 4 feet and 7 feet long dragged him under.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the family of four from Nebraska arrived on Sunday in Orlando, where only hours earlier, a gunman's attack on a gay nightclub left 49 people dead. Two days before that, 22-year-old Christina Grimmie, a contestant on season six of "The Voice," was killed in Orlando while signing autographs after a show.

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10:40 a.m.

The Nebraska governor says his heart goes out to the family of a 2-year-old boy who was snatched by an alligator while on vacation at a Disney resort in the Orlando, Florida, area.

The Nebraska family's name has not been released, and Gov. Pete Ricketts' office said in a statement Wednesday that all they know was what they have seen in media reports.

The Orange County sheriff says the boy was wading in the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World on Tuesday evening when an alligator dragged the child into the water. Authorities are still searching for the child.

Ricketts says "no family should ever have to experience such horror" and that he and his wife are praying for them.

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6:40 a.m.

Authorities in Orlando, Florida, are still searching for a 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and are hoping for the best.

Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson said at a Wednesday morning news conference that it's still being considered a search and rescue operation and additional deputies will be joining the search.

The boy was with his family on vacation from Nebraska, and was wading in the water of the Seven Seas Lagoon on Tuesday night when the alligator came out of the water and attacked.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says the boy's father tried to rescue him but was not able to.

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1:30 a.m.

Authorities in Orlando are searching for a 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Speaking at a news conference early Wednesday, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says the family from Nebraska was on vacation and wading in a lake Tuesday evening when the attack happened. Demings says the father tried to rescue the child but was unsuccessful.

Demings says more than 50 law enforcement personnel are searching the Seven Seas Lagoon for the boy and will keep looking.

Demings says there have been no other recent reports of similar alligator attacks at the lake.


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This is the latest information. Previous stories are below.

The search continued Wednesday morning for a 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, authorities said.

The effort was still considered a "search and rescue operation," said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

"We are very hopeful," he said at a morning news conference. "Sometimes you get the worst, but we are hoping for the best."

The family of five from Nebraska was on vacation and wading in the Seven Seas Lagoon about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday when the attack happened in an area where "no swimming" signs were posted, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told a news conference earlier in the morning. The father tried to rescue his son but was unsuccessful, Demings said.

The alligator was estimated to be 4 to 7 feet long, but its exact size was not known, Demings said. The father suffered cuts and lacerations.

The beach area is part of the luxury Grand Floridian resort, across the lake from Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park.

More than 50 law enforcement personnel searched the well-tended lagoon along with an alligator tracker and two marine units in an effort that continued through the night. Williamson said more personnel would be brought in Wednesday morning to offer some "fresh eyes" for the search.

Nick Wiley with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation said it's rare for people to be attacked by alligators, but he added that the creatures move around. He said four alligators were taken from the water overnight, but officials found no evidence they were involved. He said the alligators have to be euthanized before they are analyzed.

Williamson said the boy was at the edge of the water, probably about a foot or two into the water, when the alligator attacked. The water was dark Tuesday night as searchers looked for the boy, Williamson said. They also used a sonar boat.

Williamson said Disney's boats were the first ones in the water.

Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahaler said everyone at the resort was devastated by what happened and Disney is helping the family.

When asked if Disney was aware of alligators on the property, Wahaler advised there were signs that said "no swimming."

Williamson brushed aside reporters' questions about the odds of rescuing the child at this point. "Right now, hopefully, we're searching for a little boy to bring the family some comfort," he said.

"If you look on a map you'll see it's a pretty extensive body of water," Wiley said of the lake being searched.

The Seven Seas Lagoon feeds into a series of canals that wind through the entire Disney property.

Minnesota residents John and Kim Aho, visiting Disney with their 12-year-old son Johnny, were stunned to hear what had happened to the child, whose name has not been released.

"We have been to Yellowstone and encountered grizzly bears, but this is just freaky," John Aho said.

Kim Aho said, their son is leery of the water around the park.

"He's a little freaked out about the gator," she said.

Demings said there had been no other recent reports of similar alligator attacks on the lake.

In March 1997, a 3-year-old New Smyrna Beach boy was killed by a 450-pound alligator that grabbed him and dragged him into Lake Ashby in Volusia County as he walked on the shore with his dog. Officials believe the 11-foot gator was attracted by the dog. Adam Trevor Binford was pulled under the surface and drowned. Wildlife officials shot the alligator, which was still holding the boy's body 20 hours later.

The latest alligator attack comes amid what was already a tragic week in the Orlando area. On Sunday, a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, leaving 49 victims dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

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Associated Press writers Joshua Replogle in Lake Buena Vista, Florida; and Freida Frisaro in Miami contributed to this report.

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