A mother has posted pictures of her son standing on the “exact same” spot where toddler Lane Graves was dragged away and killed by an alligator earlier this week.
Jennifer Venditti shared the photos on Facebook, which show her three-year-old son, Channing, playing in the same Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando just one hour before the fateful event.
“I took these pics at the exact spot this happened betw 8 & 830, the incident happened at 9,” she wrtes. “Helicopters flew overhead til 1 am and were back around dawn.”
She also leapt to the defence of the parents of the toddler, who have been criticised for allowing their son in the water where there are "no swimming" signs.
“I've already seen posts criticising the parents. I can assure you alligators were not on my mind at all when Channing was in the water," she continued.
"It's a tiny beach, surrounded by pools, water slides, a restaurant and a fire pit. I can't conceive that an alligator would be in such a busy, small space."
Parents Matt and Melissa Graves watched in terror as the alligator - believed to be between 4ft and 7ft long – grabbed their son and drag him into the lagoon near the five-star hotel.
Despite their best efforts they were unable to pull him from the alligator’s grasp and it dragged the little boy under water.
His body was found, ‘in tact’ after more than 15 hours of searching.
"We recovered the remains of the two-year-old from the water and that body has been turned over to the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings during a press conference.
"Autopsy has to confirm, but there's likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator," he continued. "The child was found within the immediate area of where he was last seen. It took some time to go through, but our divers were able to locate the body using sonar equipment."
“The family says they do appreciate all of the prayers that have gone forward to allow those of us who are working on the professional side to do our jobs to recover their son,” added Sheriff Demings.