Raul Johnson Gonzalez missing: Federal Bureau of Investigation joins search for boy who vanished barefoot

Desperate search for four-year-old boy who disappeared from his North Carolina home barefoot in a tiger t-shirt on Wednesday

But authorities believe the body is that of 4-year-old Raul Gonzalez Johnson, who was last seen Wednesday near his Scotland County home, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Shelley Lunch said in an email.

A tweet provided by the Charlotte, NC, FBI indicated that the boy's body was found in a pond off of Pearidge Road on Saturday afternoon at around 1:45 p.m.

Authorities don't know whether he wandered away or was the victim of foul play.

Investigators are planning to drain the pond. "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.

"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.

The child was seen wearing a T-shirt with tiger stripes and pajama trousers with rocket ships on them.

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The FBI confirmed it is assisting local officials as the third day of a search for a 4-year-old boy began Friday afternoon.

Annie Johnson, Raul's mother, said the boy would often walk to a neighbor's house for cookies and candy, but he never went alone.

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".

"There was an individual last night that for whatever reason, posted a picture on Snapchat that he had been located and was safe", Sadovnikov said.

Search crews from surrounding counties have been conducting ground and air searches mostly around a three-mile radius near the boy's home. "We've got trained people out there, they've come from all over North and SC, and hopefully this will be over soon", he added, WRAL reported.

"Until we get something that indicates that there's no hope. we'll continue to do what we're doing now", Kersey said.

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