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Family of child killed by alligator in Florida ‘overwhelmed’ by support

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The parents of a 2-year-old boy snatched away and drowned by an alligator in Florida have been “overwhelmed with the support and love” that have poured in since the tragedy captured national attention, the family said in a statement on Saturday.

The alligator grabbed the boy at the water’s edge on Tuesday night while his family, on vacation from Nebraska, relaxed on the shore nearby. The parents tried to save the child but were unable to free him from the alligator’s grip.

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“Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country,” father Matt Graves said in the statement issued by their church in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

“We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest. Neither Melissa, myself or anyone from our family will be speaking publicly; we simply cannot at this time,” the statement said.

The Graveses had previously released a statement expressing their devastation and asking for privacy while praising the work of officials who searched for the boy.

Police divers recovered the body of Lane Graves on Wednesday from the man-made lake at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, where he had been snatched the night before.

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Disney has since installed signs at water’s edge warning guests of alligators and snakes.

The resort previously had “No Swimming” signs that did not specifically mention alligators.

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“Danger! Alligators and snakes in area,” read the new signs, which feature diagrams of the two animals. “Stay away from the water. Do not feed the wildlife.”

The new signs are fixed to wooden posts that hold up rope cordoning off the water.

An autopsy found drowning as the cause of death after the body was found intact underwater.

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Alligators often roll their prey beneath the surface until the victim stops breathing, experts say, and then stash the body away to eat later.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Richard Chang)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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WATCH: ‘Hero’ walks into middle of Proud Boys protest and says ‘f*ck you’ to each of them

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A man became a hero to the internet over the weekend after he was captured on video saying "f*ck you" to members of a group of conservative protesters known as Proud Boys.

In a video that appeared to be from Saturday's protests in Portland, a man can be seen walking into a group of right-wing demonstrators.

"F*ck you," the man says, pointing at an apparent Proud Boys member.

"F*ck you," the man says again as he points at another member of the group.

The man then repeats the process over and over, pointing out a member of the Proud Boys each time. He did make an exception for a dog, which he described as "cool."

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2020 Election

GOPer Joni Ernst booed and peppered with questions about guns at tense Iowa town hall

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In videos uploaded to Twitter, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) received a chorus of boos and shouts from a town hall crowd after she tried to blame mass shootings on mental health issues, with one person shouting, "Do something!"

According to a report from Iowa Starting Line, the embattled Iowa Senator whose approval numbers have dropped, due in part to President Donald Trump, was pressed by one local teacher about changing gun laws so she can get back to the job she was hired for.

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Trump is the nightmare from which we can’t wake up

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Every morning we wake up and the nightmare that is Donald Trump seems to go on. Most nightmares, even recurring ones, eventually come to an end. We must hope this one will eventually end as well.

As a columnist, it’s difficult to keep writing about what seems to be the same thing over and over — Trump being a racist, homophobic, sexist pig. Then he, his family or someone in the administration does something else that boggles the mind. Last week, he retweeted a conspiracy theory that the Clintons were responsible for Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Every time you think he can’t sink lower he does.

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