Searchers find body of boy snatched in alligator attack

Updated: 

Searchers have recovered the body of a two-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at a Walt Disney World resort in Florida.

The boy - named by police as Lane Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska - was attacked on Tuesday night as he waded in shallow water at the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian resort.

The search team grew to 50 people on 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.

Orange County Sheriff's officers search the Seven Seas Lagoon
(Phelan M Ebenhack/AP)

A Disney representative said the entertainment giant closed the beaches "out of an abundance of caution".

Wildlife officials said the attack was a rarity in a state with an alligator population estimated at around one million, but it still left visitors shaken in a city built on tourism.

The family of four was on holiday at the resort around nightfall on Tuesday when the child waded no more than 2ft into the water before being taken from a small beach.

An Orange County Sheriffs helicopter searches for a young boy early Wednesday
(Red Huber/AP)

The boy's father desperately tried to save him, suffering lacerations to the hand, but was unable to pull him free. Neither could a lifeguard, who was nearby.

"No swimming" signs had been posted at the beach, but the child was wading, not swimming.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said there have been no other similar alligator attacks on the lake.

Sheriff Jerry Demings speaks at a press conference
(Phelan M Ebenhack/AP)

Demings said a dive team found the remains of the two-year-old at about 3.30pm local time.

He said the body was found "completely intact," just 10 to 15 yards from where he was attacked, in about six feet of water.

They had to use sonar to find the body in murky water.