There is “no question” a boy seized by an alligator near Walt Disney World Orlando is dead, Florida police say.
A spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s office, Jeff Williamson, said 15 hours had passed since the boy, aged two, was dragged into the water.
“So we know that we are working on recovering the body of the child at this point,” he added.
The boy’s father had entered the water and tried in vain to grab him from the alligator’s jaws, police said earlier.
“On behalf of everyone that is engaged in this effort, our ultimate goal is to try to bring some closure to the family by recovering their loved one,” Mr Williamson said.
Some 50 people are using sonar equipment to search a system of lakes and ponds linked by canals to the Seven Seas Lagoon where the boy was attacked while wading in shallow water at 21:16 local time (01:16 GMT) on Tuesday.
The family with three children from the state of Nebraska were relaxing near the shore of the lagoon when the incident happened
There is a “no swimming” sign on the man-made lagoon but although the boy was on the edge of the water, there was no indication he was swimming, Mr Williamson said earlier.
His father sustained minor lacerations to his arm in the attempt to retrieve his child, he added.