updated 5/3/2007 5:53:03 PM ET 2007-05-03T21:53:03

A crocodile seized a 5-year-old boy and dragged him into a river in western Mexico as his parents watched, according to authorities who said the child’s body was found Thursday.

Kevin Tapia Alatorre was standing with his parents on the banks of the Tomatlan River, about 50 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, when the 9-foot crocodile grabbed him on Tuesday, said Roberto Cortes, director of public safety for the town of Tomatlan.

Cortes said the crocodile emerged from the water at least twice with the child in its jaws. The animal fled after police officers shot at it, he said.

Rescue workers found the boy’s body on Thursday about 200 yards downriver from where the attack occurred, the Jalisco state Civil Protection Department said in a news release.

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