‘The outcome everyone feared’ NC authorities find body of missing 4-year-old

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SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WRAL) — Authorities say a body found Saturday in a pond is that of a 4-year-old North Carolina boy who disappeared last week.Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey said the body of four-year-old Raul Gonzalez Johnson was found in a pond less than a mile from where he was last seen.“We have prayed, but this is the outcome everyone feared — and its heartbreaking,” said Sheriff Kersey.

Raul was reported missing on Wednesday after he wandered away from home where he was being watched by his grandfather. Sheriff Kersey says crews searched around two ponds and some woods near where the little boy was last spotted near a neighbor’s home in Laurinburg.He says they were draining one of the ponds Saturday morning when the little boy’s body was found.In an emotional press conference, Sheriff Kersey called the discovery “heartbreaking” and talked about meeting little Raul.“I would probably guess it’s abnormal to meet a child and then later you’re looking for him,” explained Sheriff Kersey. “I consider it a blessing to have had that opportunity even though it was for a short, short moment of time to meet a little boy that I know I gave my best — it put a passion in me to do all that I could to bring him home safely.”The medical examiner’s office is working to determine a cause of death, but Sheriff Kersey believes it was accidental and there is no indication of foul play.

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