Indiana police say boy found dead in suitcase died from dehydration

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Indiana police say boy found dead in suitcase died from dehydration

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

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

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

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

The boy was about 4-feet-tall with a slim build and short haircut, according to cops.

“Investigators continue to utilize a variety of investigative techniques and have worked with several outside agencies during this investigation,” the state police said. “Although numerous tips have been called into the nationwide tip line, detectives have not been able to identify the boy. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the child could be from out of state or even out of the country.”

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

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

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

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

Woods
The child’s body was found in the woods.
WHAS-TV

“This little boy wasn’t respected in life and we, Washington County, want to make sure he’s respected in death,” Todd Murphy, the sheriff’s department’s chaplain, said, according to USA Today.

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