A body has been found in the search for a 2-year-old boy who was snatched by an alligator at Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort on Tuesday night, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings confirms.
The boy, on vacation with his parents and two siblings from Nebraska, had been playing at the edge of Seven Seas Lagoon, a body of water in the resort's "beach" area, while his father looked on.
The father ran into the water and tried to grab his son, Demings said at a news conference, but couldn't pry him away. A witness estimated the gator was anywhere from four to seven feet long, according to USA Today.
Authorities were still searching for him via boats, helicopters, divers and sonar equipment as of late Wednesday morning.
The sheriff presumed the boy dead 15 hours into the search.
“At about 1:45 pm today, members of the dive team located what is believed to be the remains of the deceased — a 2-year-old boy," Demings said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “At about 3:30pm we recovered the remains from the water."
The body has been removed from the scene for an autopsy.
Officials said four alligators had been taken out of the lagoon and euthanized, but that no evidence had been found to help determine if one of them was responsible for the attack.
All Disney World Resorts beaches were shut down on Wednesday as a precaution.
Just last week, a man's body was found in the mouth of an alligator in Lakeland, Florida, and two gators were found eating a corpse in a South Florida canal in late May. But it was not determined that an alligator attack was the cause of death in either of those incidents.
Florida is home to the highest number of alligators in the US, but the likelihood of getting seriously injured in an unprovoked alligator attack in the state is about one in 2.4 million, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Society.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.