The parents of a toddler who was dragged into shallow waters and killed by an alligator at a Disney World resort have broken their silence.
Lane Grave was on the shores of Disney’s five-star Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida, on holiday with his mother, father and two siblings.
He was playing in the shallow waters when he was grabbed by the reptile and pulled into the Seven Seas Lagoon.
In a last-ditch bid to save his son’s life, Lane’s dad ran into the water and tried to wrestle the youngster from the gator, but he was overcome by the reptile’s strength.
After a mass search of the resort, his dead body was recovered ‘intact’, after four alligators were killed and dissected.
Matt and Melissa Graves released a statement through police earlier today.
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.
Disney beaches remained closed on Thursday after Lane’s death, and the company has now decided to add alligator warning signs, which it previously did not have around park waters.
Matt Morgan, an Orlando lawyer, predicted a multi-million-dollar settlement for wrongful death.
Speaking to The Times, he said:
Every parent across America has had this family’s nightmare running through their minds and it’s heartbreaking to think that this may have been a preventable tragedy.
He said any case would focus on what Disney knew about alligators in the lagoon and when they knew it, and whether the company had taken sufficient measures to protect its guests.
Jacquee Wahler – vice president of Walt Disney World Resort – said in a statement that the resort was ‘conducting a swift and thorough review of all of our processes and protocols.’
Our thoughts are with Lane’s family during this difficult time.