Police find body of boy, two, snatched by alligator in Disney lagoon

The body of a toddler who was snatched by an alligator near a Disney resort in Florida has been found.

Lane Graves was playing near the water's edge at Seven Seas Lagoon when the reptile dragged him in.

The boy's father desperately tried to wrestle his son from the mouth of the alligator but couldn't save him.

Police said it appeared the animal drowned the two-year-old and left his body near the spot where he was last seen.

Sheriff Jerry Demings said: "Of course the family was distraught, but also I believe somewhat relieved that his body was found intact."

The horrific incident happened at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Credit: Reuters

The boy's parents were identified as Matt and Melissa Graves, of Elkhorn, Nebraska, a suburban area of Omaha.

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

In a statement from Disney World Resort president George A Kalogridis, the company said it was "doing what we can" to help the family.

The boy was playing in the beach area at the resort, on the edge of the lagoon Credit: Google Maps

Witnesses said that the alligator, the type found in freshwater in Florida, was between four and seven feet long.

A major search operation was launched with wildlife and marine officials helping law enforcement officers before Lane's body was eventually recovered 16 hours later.

Mr Demings said his agency and state wildlife officials would look into the issue of warning signs.

He said investigators would also review whether the boy's parents should be charged, but it is not likely.

"There nothing in this case to indicate that there was anything extraordinary" in terms of neglect by the parents, he said.

Jerry Demings Credit: RTV

Disney World closed beaches around Seven Seas Lagoon during the search.

Crews removed five alligators from the lake during the search, and officials said one could have been the animal that attacked the boy.

While "no swimming" signs are posted at the beach where the boy was attacked, no signs warn about alligators.

No other alligator attacks have been reported on the man-made lake.

A major search operation is underway at the resort Credit: WKMG/APTV

A Disney representative said it would "thoroughly review the situation for the future".

The spokesperson added everyone at the resort was "devastated by this tragic accident."