Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

Parents Are Sharing Photos Of Their Children At The Spot A Boy Was Killed By An Alligator

Two-year-old Lane Graves died at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel in Orlando.

Matt and Melissa Graves — who tragically lost their 2-year-old son when he was attacked by an alligator while playing on a Disney Resort beach — have become the subject of ridicule online.

Kathy Rae Photography / Via Twitter: @FightScammers

The Graveses, who were vacationing at Disney World from Nebraska, not only witnessed their son being dragged into the lagoon by an alligator at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, but physically fought the reptile for their child's life.

The criticism echoes the harsh words many had for the parents of a young boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo last month.

Some people have alleged they should have kept a closer eye:

Police should be investigating Nebraska parents for negligence and neglect. Their irresponsible parenting caused death of their son.

Twitter: @Rivco12survivor

While others were upset the boy was playing on the beach at night:

But many in the parenting world have begun rallying behind the Graveses and sharing photos of their own young kids playing in the fateful spot.

Kristen Howerton / Via Facebook: RageAgainstTheMinivan

Writer Kristen Howerton shared this photo on her Facebook page, writing:

"It's easy to throw other parents under the bus when something terrible happens because we want to believe ourselves better. We want to comfort ourselves with the idea that our superior parenting could prevent a tragedy; that bad things could only befall an incompetent parent. But the truth is, bad things happen to good parents, and they deserve our empathy, not our judgement."

Florida resident Jeannette Kaplun posted this photo of her children. She told BuzzFeed, "My heart breaks for the Graves family. It could have happened to any of us."

Jeannette Kaplun / Via

Melissa Mitchell did the same on on her blog, Sippy Cup Mom, writing, "It could have been me, because I'm not a perfect parent."

Melissa Mitchell / Via

"We stayed at The Grand Floridian Resort...and [my son] played on that very beach," Mitchell wrote. "Yes, there are 'no swimming' signs and he didn’t go into the water. He COULD have – he’s a toddler and we all know how fast toddlers are. But he was right at the water’s edge like I’m sure hundreds if not thousands of people do at Walt Disney World each year."

Jennifer Venditti, who was a guest at the resort when the tragedy took place, shared this now viral image of her son playing on the same beach just hours before the incident.

Facebook: jennifer.venditti.18

And Melissa Fenton, a mother of four, wrote a passionate plea for fellow parents to stop judging the grieving Graves family.

Facebook: 4BoysMother

Fenton's post, which reminds readers their own parents wouldn't have been so quick to judge, had been shared nearly 400,000 times on Facebook by Thursday afternoon.


One of the photos in an earlier version of this post depicted a different lagoon from where the alligator attack happened, so it has been removed.