A four-year-old boy who reportedly vanished last week in Jefferson City is dead. During a press conference today, Police Lt. Dave Williams says Darnell Gray’s body was found by a searcher around noon Tuesday on a path identified through the assistance of the investigation – not one of the areas previously searched.

Darnell Gray

He says no arrests have been made and efforts are underway to determine the cause of death.

“Foul play was never suspected until we have found Darnell,” Williams says. “And now, it is an investigation into his death. I’m not going to specifically say whether or not we believe parties involved. We do know that he is deceased and it was not by his own accord.”

Williams says the case has been re-categorized from a search operation to a death investigation.

“At this point, there is no one we are not looking at through our process,” he says.

Gray’s caregiver reported the child was last seen between 11:00 pm and midnight on October 24, when he went to sleep. At 7:00 a.m. On October 25, she discovered the boy had vanished.

Law enforcement and the community have been vigorously looking for the child for several days. Some 100 officers and first responders have been involved in the search. Williams thanks the work by emergency responders, the community and the media for their help.

A group of searchers is reportedly organizing a vigil for tonight at Washington Park in Jefferson City.

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