UPDATE: 12:27 p.m. EDT — The toddler who was snatched by an alligator at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, Florida, while wading in a lagoon on the property is presumed dead, the local sheriff said Wednesday during a press briefing. "We are now working on recovering the body of the child," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings. "There's no question this family will lose a 2-year-old old."
Five alligators have been pulled from the man-made body of water on the resorts properties and euthanized, Demings said. But authorities have yet to find in any of the alligators any evidence of or remains from the young boy.
Search crews were continuing to scour the lagoon in an effort that has lasted more than 15 hours.
Hours prior to the press briefing, Disney closed all of its resorts' beaches and waterfronts "out of an abundance of caution," CNN reported.
The boy first went missing at around 9 p.m. Tuesday night while wading in the lagoon with his father. There were multiple "No Swimming sign."
A massive search is underway for a 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the water Tuesday evening by an alligator near Disney’s upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida. The boy was on vacation with his family from Nebraska.
The attack occurred when the family of five was wading in a lake, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a news conference. The father’s efforts to save the boy were unsuccessful, Demings added.
“It’s my understanding the father was there nearby and the child was playing in the water, just a foot or so into the water, and the alligator came up,” Demings said. “The father at some point struggled to try to get his son and was not successful and then alerted others to try and assist him in the process.”
Over 50 law enforcement officials were searching the Seven Seas Lagoon where “no swimming” boards were installed, Demings said. The alligator was estimated to be 4 to 7 feet long.
“We’re going to hope for the best in these circumstances,” Demings said.
Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahaler said people at the company are helping the family, the Associated Press reported. When asked whether Disney knew of alligators on the property, Wahaler said there were signs that said “no swimming,” according to the AP.
At least 41 unprovoked “major” alligator attacks have occurred in Florida since 2010, NBC News reported, citing the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission records. Last year, at least two people died of such attacks.