The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the deaths of a 4-year-old Belle boy and a 37-year-old man whose bodies were found in Gasconade County.

At 8:13 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 16, Belle police notified the patrol of a missing child. The child had reportedly been with the man, described as a family friend, since early Sunday, Sept. 15.

The man’s vehicle was located at 11:30 p.m. Monday on Valentine Ford Road near Highway A in western Gasconade County. Further investigation revealed the male and child deceased nearby, the patrol said.

Autopsies will be conducted at University Hospital in Columbia.

An ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths is being conducted by investigators with the patrol’s division of drug and crime control, Belle police, Osage County and Gasconade County sheriff’s departments.