Thursday, July 18, 2013
The body of a missing western Wisconsin toddler was found in the trunk of a customer's car outside his home where his father repairs cars, just hours after authorities called off an exhaustive all-day search of the surrounding property that drew more than 2,000 volunteers, authorities said Thursday.
Two-year-old Isaiah Theis disappeared Tuesday night. About 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, after a day of blistering heat, a Polk County sheriff's deputy found his body in the trunk of the locked vehicle when the owner came to retrieve it.
Searchers had looked into the car and checked the area around it several times, Sheriff Peter Johnson said in a statement.
But they did not look in the trunk. Chief Deputy Steve Moe told reporters at a news conference that, in hindsight, he wished they had. But he said searchers were operating under the assumptions that Isaiah had wandered off Tuesday evening, which he had a tendency to do, and that all the cars were locked.
He said deputies did not have access to the keys, but he wasn't certain whether the keys were on the property.
"Would we liked to have forced entry to the car? Yeah, from my personal perspective," Moe said.
Moe declined to speculate how Isaiah ended up in the trunk. He says the autopsy is being expedited but he doesn't expect results.