The parents of the 2-year-old boy killed when an alligator dragged him into a lake at a Walt Disney World resort in Florida have made their first public statement about the incident.
In a statement to ABC News, Matt and Melissa Graves, from Elkhorn, Neb., said they are “devastated.”
“Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing over the loss of our son. We are devastated and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time. To all of the local authorities and staff who worked tirelessly these past 24 hours, we express our deepest gratitude,” they said in their statement.
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Lane, their son, was killed Tuesday night on the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. According to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, the family was relaxing on the beach after watching an outdoor movie when the alligator snatched the boy and dragged him away. The boy’s body was found Wednesday night about 10 to 15 yards from where he was attacked.
During the search, at least five alligators were removed and officials said there is a “good chance” one of them was the culprit. Lane’s body was recovered Wednesday afternoon.
Disney has closed all of the beaches at the resort, according to Jacquee Wahler, vice president of communications for the Walt Disney World Resort.
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Wahler said the company is doing a “thorough review” of safety measures, including signage. The resort currently has “no swimming” signs along the beaches at its hotels. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney will be putting up more explicit signs warning about the danger of alligators, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
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