Sheriff: Cause of death of 4-year-old Scotland County boy was drowning

SCOTLAND COUNTY, NC (WMBF) - The Scotland County sheriff confirmed that the cause of death for 4-year-old Raul Gonzalez Johnson was drowning.

Johnson's body was found in a pond Saturday after going missing from his grandfather's home Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Sheriff Ralph Kersey took to Facebook to discuss the "emotionally exhausting and difficult process" as the community mourns the loss of Johnson.

In the post, Kersey took the time to thank all who assisted in the search for Johnson in Laurinburg.

"As the Sheriff of Scotland County, I can admit that this process has been emotionally exhausting and difficult for us all. Our hearts are deeply saddened and heavy as we all process the sad truth of Saturday's findings," a portion of Kersey's post stated.

Kersey also attached a list of every agency that helped in the search that began last week, noting it was the biggest search in recent time in North Carolina, and agencies and citizens alike were very helpful in reporting tips and eventually finding the child's body.

The Sheriff also thanked local businesses for donating food and water while crews were searching.

Additionally, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help Johnson's family.

Annie Johnson, the boy's mother, confirmed the account titled "Homegoing/Memorial for Little Raul" is the only donation site she has approved.

Over $1,600 has already been raised for the family. Those who would like to donate can click here.

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