The body of the toddler who was attacked by an alligator and dragged into a lagoon near Walt Disney World in Florida was found Wednesday.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the body of the 2-year-old boy, identified as Lane Graves, was found "completely intact" with only a few puncture wounds. The body was found around 1:45 p.m. in 6 feet of murky water, very close to where he was attacked.
"There is no reason for us to believe that the body that was recovered is not that of Lane Graves," he told Reuters.
However, Demings said he believes the boy drowned. "Of course, the autopsy has to confirm that, but there is likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator," he added.
Lane's parents from Elkhorn, Nebraska, have been identified as Matt and Melissa Graves. Matt Graves, who is a chief data officer and leader at Omaha Infogroup, reportedly tried to rescue the boy from the alligator during the incident, but was unsuccessful. He suffered minor scratches on his hand as he jumped into the water, trying to save his son.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement: "As a parent and a grandparent, my heart goes out to the Graves family during this time of devastating loss. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I know everyone at Disney joins me in offering our deepest sympathies."
Meanwhile, Disney temporarily closed all its resort beaches as a cautionary step in response to the alligator attack.
Wildlife officials had earlier killed five alligators from the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon. The little boy was playing in the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa when he was attacked by the reptile on Tuesday night.
The officials believe that the alligator is between 1.2m and 2m long.
Sheriff Demings said Florida is quite known for alligators in water bodies and hence there were "No Swimming" signs at the lagoon. The child was the only one in the water when the attack happened.