Circumstances of Wis. Toddler's Death Remain a Mystery

Updated: 07/18/2013 9:47 PM By: Scott Theisen

Photo: Photo submitted by Polk County Sheriff's Office

Investigators in Polk County, Wis., are trying to learn more about how a missing 2-year-old boy found dead got into the trunk of a car near his home.

During a news conference Thursday, Chief Deputy Steve Moe said the Chevrolet Impala was one of three vehicles that belong to customers of a repair shop at the boy's home near Centuria.

Isaiah Theis' body was found by a sheriff's deputy just after 10 p.m. Wednesday when the owner of the car came to pick it up.

Isaiah's parents last saw him playing with his 7-year-old brother around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities said the area around the vehicle had been searched several times, but searchers had been told the vehicle was locked before Isaiah was reported missing so it was unlikely he was inside.

Moe said keys to the customers' vehicles were unavailable Wednesday and they would have had to force entry into the vehicles to search them. The key to the Impala first became available when the owner came to pick it up Wednesday night.

Moe said when Isaiah was reported missing authorities learned that he had a tendency to wander off, so the predominant presumption was that he had wandered away.

About 2,450 volunteers were involved in the search for Isaiah, according to the sheriff's office.

The cause of death is still unknown. The Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, the Polk County Sheriff's Office, and the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating.

Isaiah's body is with the medical examiner in Anoka County Thursday night.

Moe said the boy's family "is absolutely devastated."