CENTURIA, Wis. - The Polk County Sheriff says the body of a 2-year-old reported missing was found in the trunk of a locked vehicle near his family's home late Wednesday night.
Sheriff Pete Johnson says Isaiah Theis was located by a deputy around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, just before the owner of the vehicle attempted to remove it from the area.
At this point there is no word on whether the owner of the car has been questioned, arrested, or is considered a suspect in the child's death.
Searchers had looked into and around the vehicle several times during the day, but Sheriff Johnson says law enforcement had been told the car had been locked previous to the boy disappearing. They assumed, based on that information, that it was extremely unlikely Isaiah was inside.
Johnson did not officially call the boy's death suspicious, but says "the death of an otherwise healthy 2-year-old boy requires a complete and thorough investigation as to any possible cause, whether that cause is accidental or criminal."
A full autopsy being performed on Isaiah Theis will go a long way towards explaining how he may have died.
The investigation into the toddler's death is being conducted by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, The Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office.
Isaiah's maternal grandfather, Paul Krey, tells KARE 11 that the car the boy was found in belongs to a customer of his son-in-law, who is an auto mechanic and works out of a shop on his property. Krey said the car was parked on the property waiting to be fixed.
He also told KARE 11's Boyd Huppert that all the Theis children were comfortable hanging around the shop, and spent plenty of time around the vehicles while their father worked and watched them.
Krey says the child's death is absolutely tough for both sides of the family. He shared that his daughter, Isaiah's mother, is hospitalized due to the stress of losing her son.
In a related note, Sheriff Johnson sent a emphatic thank you to the 2,450 volunteers who showed up on a brutally hot day to search for a child most of them didn't even know.
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