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.
FBI investigators said the body was found in a pond off Peabridge Road, less than a mile from Crestline Road where Raul Gonzalez Johnson was last seen.
The FBI announced a body was found about 3 p.m. Saturday, at the time a press briefing was to be held.
Kersey said he wanted to drain the pond after a search by a dive team came up empty Thursday. "Because we don't know where Raul is right now, we're pushing to pursue every possible lead, and we need the public's help in finding him".
The FBI's Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team, a group of experts in the field of missing children, has assisted in the search.
Authorities had said Raul's grandfather was watching him Wednesday when he lost track of the boy and called police.
Despite her fears law enforcement officials have said repeatedly they do not suspect foul play. He was last seen wearing striped pajamas with rocket ships on them and wasn't wearing any shoes.
"He [her father] was in the kitchen cooking and my daughter was in the bedroom, she was in the room playing with him and said he went missing and went outside looking for him but he couldn't find him", said Annie Johnson, the mother.
Kersey said that the search teams were transitioning from search and rescue to a more "investigative approach", according to News Observer. "We greatly appreciate the thoughts and prayers for this little boy".
Raul is said to be Indian, with black hair and brown eyes, standing about three feet tall and weighing 38 pounds.