ORLANDO, the United States — Searchers had found the body of a 2-year old boy who was snatched underwater by an alligator near a Disney World resort in the southeastern US city of Orlando, said local police sheriff at a news conference on Wednesday.
Orange County sheriff Jerry Demings announced that the remains of Lane Graves from Nebraska was located at 1:45 p.m. and recovered around 3:30 p.m., more than 16 hours after the boy was pulled away when he was wading water at an artificial lake beach near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
Demings said the boy’s body was “completely intact”, and had been turned to the county’s medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Search for the boy had begun shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday after reports that the boy was attacked. The boy’s father tried to fight to get his son back but failed.
The family of four were on vacation at Disney World, one of the world’s most popular theme parks.
The incident happened just days after the worst mass shooting in US history at a nightclub in downtown Orlando with 50 people killed and 53 injured.
Many worried that the city’s tourism industry may take a hit, with potential tourists choosing other destinations for fear of safety.
With tourism as its pillar industry, the city has welcomed 66 million tourists in 2015, according to Visit Orlando, the city’s official tourism association.
However, members from local tourism industry have expressed optimism.
“These rare incidents will never happen to normal tourists,” said Kirk Shang, tour manager at the Golden Horse Tourism Agency.
“As long as tourists follow those warning signs and do not go where they’re not supposed to be, I’m sure they can enjoy a wonderful experience,” Shang added.
President and CEO of Visit Orlando George Aguel said in a statement that the safety of visitors was and continued to be the top priority of the local tourism industry.
“We have been a destination that has helped more than 1 billion visitors create emotional connections and lifetime memories as they enjoyed the special experiences in Orlando. We have no reason to believe this will change,” said Aguel. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com