Body found in North Carolina pond believed to be missing 4-year-old boy, FBI says

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While assisting local authorities in the search for Raul Gonzalez Johnson, the FBI said a body was discovered in a pond off a road near the boy's home in North Carolina.

Investigators believe that a body found in a pond in Laurinburg, North Carolina, is that of missing 4-year-old Raul Gonzalez Johnson.

The Scotland County Medical Examiner's Office is working to confirm the identity and cause of death.

The FBI said that Raul's family has been notified.

An Amber Alert was issued Wednesday for Raul Gonzelez Johnson after he was last seen by his grandfather, who lost track of him and called police, authorities said.

A neighbor saw the boy walking in Laurinburg, according to WVEC-TV.

"The Scotland County Sheriff's Office is using every resource available for this little boy," Sheriff Ralph Kersey said at a Friday afternoon news briefing.

More than a dozen ground search teams combed the area Friday, and authorities are working to drain a pond near the area where Raul was last seen.

Jason Kaplan, a supervisory special agent with the FBI, said: "We've deployed assets from all over North Carolina and from the FBI headquarters to include our Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team."
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Raul Johnson, 4, remains missing in Scotland County.

More than 40 law enforcement, fire, search and rescue, and volunteer agencies -- including a Wake County Sheriff's Office K-9, the Fayetteville Police Department, and the Fayetteville and Cumberland County dive teams -- were helping in the search for Raul.

Information about Raul's case was posted on the FBI's website.

"I want to thank our partners and the community for the tremendous outpouring of support," Kersey said. "We greatly appreciate the thoughts and prayers for this little boy. Everyone has one goal to find Raul and bring him home safe."

On Friday, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol conducted a roadblock canvass in the neighborhood to talk to drivers.

Authorities asked that anyone who lives or works near the area and has surveillance cameras to please check them to see if there is anything unusual that you should share with law enforcement.

On Thursday, the Scotland County sheriff said the search shifted from a search or recovery to an "investigative side."

"We're in the process of setting up all that we need at different locations so that we can work this from an investigative side," Kersey said.

Authorities are still unsure whether the boy was abducted or if he wandered away.

Raul is described as Native American and Hispanic, approximately 3 feet tall, weighing 38 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a white-and-orange tiger-striped shirt with tigers on it and white pants with rocket ships printed on them.
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