Sheriff’s Call: Grim Outlook for Toddler Dragged By Gator in Orlando (Audio)


*I’m starting to think Orlando has been cursed. I generally don’t believe in such things, but how do you wrap your brain around three horrific events occurring  there over a period of days?  First the killing of singer Christina Grimme; then the nightclub massacre, and now an alligator comes out of the water and grabs a 2-year-old boy?

What the hell is happening here? It’s like a city suffering from some kind of karmic retribution.

Authorities are now, after a 15-hour search, not looking to recover the little boy alive; but continue to search for his remains as they conclude the child is dead, because such an ordeal is “not survivable.” There are conflicting stories as to whether the child was near the water in a playpen; or was wading along the edge of the water with his family prior to the attack. But as soon as it happened the boy’s father jumped into the water in an attempt to save the child, but he was unable to grab him from the gator.

The child’s mother is also said to have entered the water.

According to what Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a news conference, the family of five were on vacation from Nebraska and had been relaxing near the lake at Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort on Tuesday evening, when the attack happened.

Sadly, either the family didn’t notice the warning signs that were posted saying “no swimming” or they made the fatal mistake of ignoring them.

Nevertheless, something like this could have happened to anyone.

More than 50 law enforcement officials, including  took to an immediate search for the gator, which was estimated to be anywhere from 4 to 7 feet long, according to Demings; who said, “There were eyewitnesses who certainly saw the child taken under the water.”

“We know that that happened and it is certainly not survivable at this point for him to have been submerged for that period of time,” he added.

He said the dozens of searchers, divers and wildlife experts would continue the search as long as it takes.

“We are working on recovering the body of a child at this point,” the sheriff said. “We are trying to bring some closer (to the parents) by recovering their loved one.”

Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which spearheaded the search, said the American alligator was feeding and likely confused the small child for a dog or a raccoon. The gators do not typically feed on humans.

“People – even small people – are not their typical prey,” he said.

RELATED: Audio of authorities describing what happened to the toddler

Jacquee Wahaler, a spokeswoman for Disney, said everyone at the resort is devastated by what happened and that Disney is assisting the family (no details on what this entails).

When asked if Disney was aware of alligators on the property, Wahaler indirectly answered the question by saying there were signs that said “no swimming.”

My heart aches.


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