New Orlando Horror: Toddler Snatched by Alligator Near Disney Resort
UPDATE: The body of the toddler has been found, according to CNN. Earlier today, it was announced he was presumed to be dead after being attacked by an alligator last night. Sheriff Demings said at that time, “There's no question they will lose a 2-year-old child... We are working on recovering the body of the child at this point. The ultimate goal is to bring closure to the family.”
Another tragedy has struck Orlando, just days after the Pulse nightclub mass shooting and singer Christina Grimmie's murder at the hands of a deranged fan.
On Tuesday night, a 2-year-old boy was dragged into the water by an alligator, and a search is still underway to find him. The boy was playing at the edge of the water at the Seven Seas Lagoon near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa when the accident happened. Sheriff Jerry L. Demings said at a news conference today, "There's a sandy beach area and the family was out simply relaxing. They had another child and a baby playpen... and they were simply relaxing out in the area and wading just in the water along the lake's edge."
After the boy was grabbed by the alligator, his parents tried to wrestle him out of the alligator's grasp, but were unsuccesful. Demings shared, "The father entered the water and tried to grab the child, was not successful in doing so. At some point, I'm told that the mother also may have entered the water. So, the parents diligently tried to get the child."
Deputies, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials, and alligator trappers have been searching the lake for the boy and the alligator. Four alligators have been euthanized, but none has shown signs of being involved in the attack. "We're not leaving until we recover the child," Demings said Tuesday. "As a father, as a grandfather, we're going to hope for the best in these circumstances, but based upon my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know that we have some challenges ahead of us at this time."
Demings also had a realistic response about finding the boy alive, saying, "The sad reality of it is it's been several hours and we're not likely going to recover a live body."
After news broke about the missing boy, Walt Disney World Vice President Jacquee Wahler said, "Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement."