Body of boy snatched by alligator at Disney resort in Florida has been found

The two-year-old boy has been named as Lane Graves

Florida, alligator, search, Disney resort, Magic Kingdom Park, Jerry Demings,

Image: Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP/Press Association Images

The body of a two-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at a Disney resort in Florida has been recovered.

The child, named as Lane Graves, was paddling in a foot of water on a beach beside the Seven Seas Lagoon at 9pm on Tuesday when the animal dragged him away.

Boats, a helicopter and scores of police officers were involved in the search - and a body has now been recovered in tact 10-15ft out.

Lane is believed to have been drowned by the alligator.

Sheriff Jerry Demings said he had informed parents Matt and Melissa Graves, from Elkhorn, Nebraska.

"Of course the family was distraught but somewhat relived that they had found his body intact," he said.

A family friend released a statement on behalf of the couple thanking well-wishers for their "thoughts and hope-filled prayers".

The boy's father tried unsuccessfully to pry him from the jaws of the 4-7ft alligator before it disappeared into the 14ft-deep manmade lagoon.

Eyewitness Bill Wilson, visiting from Indiana, said the attack unfolded in less than 30 seconds.

He told the Orlando Sentinal: "I looked over and here comes one of the lifeguards. He said 'Everybody get out of the water'. The mother was there and she was frantic, running up and down looking."

The body has been sent for a post-mortem.

Walt Disney World shut all of its Florida beaches and marinas out of precaution after the incident - the first such death in its 45-year history.

While "no swimming" signs are posted at the lagoon, there are no warnings of alligators.

Sheriff Demings said the authorities would work with Disney on the issue of warning signs. 

At least five other alligators were caught before they found the boy.