LAURINBURG, N.C. — The Latest on the search for a missing North Carolina child (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The clearly emotional sheriff of a North Carolina county where a body believed to be that of a missing 4-year-old was found in a drained pond says the death appears to be accidental.

Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey said at a news conference Saturday that what’s believed to be the body of Raul Gonzalez Johnson was found about 1:45 p.m. Saturday after about 8,000 gallons of water were pumped from the pond.

A medical examiner must confirm the identity and cause of death. But Kersey and another investigator said they had met Raul last year so they knew what he looked like.

Kersey’s voice cracked, and he struggled to speak during the news conference. He described the discovery of the body as heartbreaking.

Scotland County authorities have said Raul left his home Wednesday while his grandfather was babysitting him.


4:20 p.m.

Authorities believe the body of a 4-year-old who was missing for several days has been found in a pond.

An FBI spokeswoman said in an email Saturday that a medical examiner must still confirm the identity and cause of death, but that authorities believe the body is that of 4-year-old Raul Gonzalez Johnson.

Authorities began draining the pond Saturday, one day after the FBI took over the investigation.

Scotland County authorities have said Raul left his home Wednesday while his grandfather was babysitting him. They say went Raul went to the home of a neighbor, who told him to go home.

The home is about 2,000 feet from the South Carolina line.


2:40 p.m.

Authorities are draining a pond near the area where a 4-year-old disappeared several days ago from his North Carolina home.

An FBI spokeswoman said in an email that authorities would begin draining the pond Saturday. Spokeswoman Shelley Lynch also says about 150 people will search about 30 sites near the Scotland County home of Raul Gonzalez Johnson, who hasn’t been seen since Wednesday.

Raul was last seen wearing a tiger-striped T-shirt and rocket ship pajama pants. He’s Native American and Hispanic.

Scotland County authorities have said Raul left his home while his grandfather was babysitting him. The home is about 2,000 feet from the South Carolina line.

Sheriff Ralph Kersey has said Raul went to the home of a neighbor, who told him to go home.

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