Federal Bureau of Investigation thinks body of missing Scotland County boy found

Raul Johnson-submitted

A North Carolina family is passing out posters and offering up prayers as they await word on a 4-year-old boy who disappeared from his home earlier this week. Canine units led investigators to a pond near the boy's home, which the landowners agreed to let the Federal Bureau of Investigation drain, WFMY News reports. The neighbor reportedly said that Raul was quiet on Weds. morning and didn't speak a word to her, which was unusual.

"I guess that's just part of the job, they're not, you know, they're the only ones around so they're just checking everyone", she said.

When Kersey was asked if he thought Raul was still alive, the sheriff said: "By faith I believe the little boy is still alive and that's what I have to stand on".

Raul has wandered away from home and been brought back in the past, Kersey said, adding that the boy likely was barefoot and couldn't travel far if he wandered away.

Authorities have issued an AMBER alert and officials were draining a pond about 800 yards away from the boy's home on Friday, reports CBS affiliate WNCN. Lynch said that news conference will now be held later. A piece of clothing that could be from Raul's pajamas also had been found, but had not been confirmed.

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A rumor has also circulated on Facebook and Snapchat that the boy was found and safe.

They said they will continue to look until they have a very high level of certainty they've searched the entire area near his Scotland County home.

"It's just very heartbreaking and devastating to think about... it's been so cold the last few nights", said Bowen.

Search teams scoured the area around his home Friday and the North Carolina state highway patrol set up roadblocks to canvass drivers. The FBI and SBI have joined the effort in an attempt to locate the missing boy.

"At this moment, nothing has been found in interviews with family, neighbors (or other information) to indicate that we're dealing with foul play", he said.

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