LAKE ASHBY, Fla. — Searchers on Saturday found the body of a 3-year-old boy being guarded by the 11-foot alligator believed to have snatched him while he played in shallow water with his brother and their dog.
Authorities had been searching the 3,200-acre lake for Adam Trevor Binford since Friday afternoon.
A state-licensed trapper found Adam's body in the lake about a mile from the spot where he was last seen. The trapper killed the 450-pound gator, which was swimming near the body to protect it from other predators.
Adam's mother, Lorri Binford, 31, of New Smyrna Beach, said he had been in knee-deep water picking water lilies for her. She heard a splash, but when she turned around her son was gone.
She thought it was an alligator attack because the splash was "too big for the little boy to make," said Lt. Joy Hill of the Florida Game and Fresh Fish Commission.
The dog and Adam's 8-year-old brother were on shore.
A young boy would be about the right size to attract an alligator, which preys on small animals, Hill said. The gators can be "lightning quick," she warned.