Indiana police say the boy, found dead in a suitcase, died of dehydration

A young boy found dead in a suitcase in a rural Indiana forest last month died of dehydration and had no signs of trauma to his body, state police said.

An autopsy report says the boy – who has yet to be identified – died of an “electrolyte imbalance” likely caused by the stomach flu, Indiana police said Friday.

The child, believed to be about 5 years old, was clothed and clean when found by a mushroom picker in the Washington County woods on April 16, police said. No trauma was found on his body and a toxicology report was negative.

Detectives believe he was already dead when stuffed into the hard case with a Las Vegas design on the front and back. Police said he likely died less than a week before the suitcase was found.

According to police, the boy was about 1.20 meters tall, slim and had a short haircut.

“Investigators continue to employ a variety of investigative techniques and have worked with multiple outside agencies during these investigations,” state police said. “Although numerous tips were called to the nationwide tip hotline, detectives were unable to identify the boy. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the child may be of foreign or even foreign origin.”

Suitcase where the child was found
The autopsy report says the boy died from an “electrolyte imbalance” likely caused by the stomach flu.
Indiana State Police

Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls bluntly said during a news conference, “Somebody knows something,” reported USA Today.

“He didn’t put himself in that suitcase. Somebody did it,” Huls said, according to the outlet. “Someone out there knows firsthand what happened in the situation … and we need that person to come forward.”

The boy’s funeral will be held in Salem, Indiana, next week and is being planned by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

The child’s body was found in the forest.

“This little boy was not respected while he was alive, and we, Washington County, want to make sure he is respected in death,” Todd Murphy, sheriff’s department chaplain, said, according to USA Today. Indiana police say the boy, found dead in a suitcase, died of dehydration


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