LAURINBURG, N.C. (AP) — The clearly emotional sheriff of Scotland 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.

Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey said at a news conference Saturday that what’s believed to be the body of Raul Gonzalez Johnson was found about 1:45 p.m. Saturday after about 8,000 gallons of water were pumped from the pond.

A medical examiner must confirm the identity and cause of death. But Kersey and another investigator said they had met Raul last year so they knew what he looked like.

Kersey’s voice cracked, and he struggled to speak during the news conference. He described the discovery of the body as heartbreaking.

Scotland County authorities have said Raul left his home Wednesday while his grandfather was babysitting him.

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