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'Tough as Nails' Father Did All He Could to Save Son From Alligator: Family Friend


A family friend of the 2-year-old boy that was snatched by an alligator and drowned at a Disney World resort is speaking out, saying young Lane Grave's father did "everything he could" to save him.

Read: 'Intact' Body of Toddler Recovered, Questions Raised About Safety At Disney Resorts After Gator Attack

Jon Kneifl says he's not surprised that Lane Graves’ father, Matt, took on the alligator.

“Matt was a state champion wrestler and is tough as nails,” he told Inside Edition. “I know that he would do anything to try to help his son. He probably fought as hard as he could. I know Matt and he gave it everything he could.”

Matt Graves is a senior executive with a software company in Nebraska and leapt into action, wrestling with the gator. But he could not save his son.

“They are great people,” Kneifl said. “They are not the type of people that deserve this…It is a devastating thing for them to go through.”

He said that everyone in the family and friends of the Graves’ are "in shock right now."

Bob Iger, the Chairman and CEO of Disney, called the family to offer his condolences.

Read: Alligators Are Found Feasting on Dead Body in Florida Canal

He issued this statement: "As a parent and a grandparent, my heart goes out to the Graves family during this time of devastating loss. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I know everyone at Disney joins me in offering our deepest sympathies."

The body of Lane Graves, who was visiting the resort with his family, was "completely intact" when it was found by a dive team Wednesday afternoon, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a press conference.

Watch: After Disney Alligator Attack, Survivors Talk Encounters With the Reptiles: 'He's Gone With My Arm'

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