ORLANDO - When Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings delivered the grim news Wednesday that little Lane Graves' remains had been discovered following a Tuesday night alligator attack at a Disney resort, he said that although an autopsy would be conducted, he was sure the gator had drowned the child.
He was right.
WFTV, which like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a Cox Media Group outlet, reports that the cause of death drowning and traumatic injury, according to the medical examiner's office.
The child's remains were discovered after a diligent, frantic search.
“We just met with the family and spent some time with them and delivered this update,” Demings said late Wednesday afternoon. “They do appreciate all of the prayers that have gone forward. It was a tough message to deliver to them, to let them know that their child is dead.”
Lane’s body was found within the immediate area of where he was last seen, Demings said. Sonar equipment was used in the “murky” water to make the recovery, in about 10 to 15 feet of water, he said.
The sheriff said then that the official autopsy was scheduled but that he believed “the child was drowned by the alligator.”
The sheriff described the family’s last night together as a pleasant one with no hint of the horror about to strike. The Graves have a 4-year-old as well, and the foursome was enjoying time together just before the gator struck.
“They were sitting there, enjoying the evening,” Demings said. “This 2-year-old was along the bank, playing in the water when this occurred.”