LAURINBURG, N.C. – The FBI is now involved in the search for a missing 4-year-old boy who’s the subject of an Amber Alert in Scotland County.
Dive teams searched a pond about 800 yards from the boy’s home. Investigators said they planned to drain the pond Thursday night.
An Amber Alert was issued Wednesday for Raul Johnson Gonzalez who disappeared from his home.
On Thursday, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office said the child’s disappearance is being investigated as a missing persons case.
Sheriff Ralph Kersey said a crime is not suspected at this time.
“There is nothing we have found with interviews with family members, next door neighbors or information from the public that would indicate foul play,” Kersey said.
Kersey also said its standard protocol for the FBI to contact local law enforcement when a child stays missing for more than 24 hours.
He also said hundreds of officers are searching for the boy.
“We’ve about covered all the areas that we thought that him being the age of four years old could travel barefoot, and we haven’t left any rock unturned,” said Kersey.
According to WBTW, the boy’s mother, Annie Johnson was at work when her father called her at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday and said Raul was missing.
“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 couldn’t find him,” said Johnson.
Johnson immediately left work after her father called to tell her Raul was missing.
“I told him to call 911,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I thought maybe he was just hiding because he likes to hide, but he never stays gone this long he always comes back. If I holler for him he comes back and this time he didn’t come back.”
Kersey said the boy went missing for about 25 minutes on Tuesday morning but was found by his grandfather.
Investigators said several law enforcement agencies across the state and up to Richmond, Virginia, are searching for the child.
“I just don’t know if somebody took him or if he’s lost in the woods or if something happened to him in the water,” said Johnson. “I don’t know, I just want him home.”
Sheriff Kersey said it’s his faith that allows him to continue to believe the boy is alive.
“By faith, I believe the little boy is still alive, and that’s what I have to stand on, not allow the adversary to plant doubt in your mind,” he said.
Raul Gonzalez was last seen walking on Village Drive towards Crestline Road in Laurinburg. He’s around 3 feet tall and weighs 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.
If you have any information call the Scotland County Sheriff`s Office immediately at (910) 276-3385, or call 911 or *HP.
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