2-year-old boy attacked by alligator in Florida identified as Lane Graves, police say he likely drowned

Two-year-old Lane Graves was reportedly wading in the water near the lagoon's shore when the alligator attacked.
Two-year-old Lane Graves was reportedly wading in the water near the lagoon's shore when the alligator attacked. PHOTO: @ORANGECOSHERIFF/TWITTER

ORLANDO - The body of Lane Graves, the two-year-old boy pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, was found intact on Wednesday (June 15) afternoon.

Quoting a source close to the investigation, CNN reported that Lane's body had only a few puncture wounds.

The boy - who had likely drowned - was found in 2m of murky water, a short distance from where he was attacked, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings revealed at a news conference.

"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," Sheriff Demings said.

Lane's parents from Elkhorn, Nebraska, were identified as Matt and Melissa Graves.

 

Mr Graves is reportedly the chief data officer at Omaha Infogroup, which provides technology solutions.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, the Greater Omaha Chamber conveyed its condolences to Mr Graves, whom they said had served on the Chamber's board since 2013.

"The loss of a child is a special kind of tragedy, particularly hard to comprehend. Our thoughts and our prayers are with the Graves family during this time of unthinkable sadness," the statement said.

"We stand ready to assist him, his wife and family as they grieve the loss of Lane."

Wildlife officials had earlier caught and killed five alligators from the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon, as search teams on boats and a helicopter scoured the surrounding area.

 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley claimed the alligator - believed to be between 1.2m and 2m long - had been caught, although this was not confirmed.

Lane had been wading near the lagoon's shore on Tuesday night when he was grabbed and pulled underwater by the alligator, despite his parents' best efforts to free him.

Sheriff Demings said there were "No Swimming" signs at the lagoon and Lane was the only one in the water when the attack occurred.

He added: "This is Florida, and it's not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water."