Investigators have learned the cause of death of a little boy whose remains were found in a suitcase in Indiana in April, but who the child was or how he wound up in a piece of luggage, officials said.
According to Indiana State Police, the child died from an electrolyte imbalance at age 5 years.
An autopsy report saidThe little boy may have suffered from viral gastroenteritis which could have caused the imbalance. Officials stated that this condition could have led to vomiting and diarrhea. This could then cause dehydration.
There were no foreign substances in the child’s system, and he had no significant external injuries.
Authorities said that the boy was found clean and dressed by a man who was out hunting for mushrooms. The hard-shell case was located approximately 80 feet from Holder Road, in an area with densely wooded areas of eastern Washington County, southern Indiana.
The luggage had been a “distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back,” police said. After finding the luggage, the man called 911, officials said.
“Detectives also stated they have no evidence which leads them to believe the child was alive when placed into the suitcase,” police said in a statement.
Officials shared the image of the suitcase, hoping it would lead to tips that can help them identify the child.
Investigators are working with several outside agencies to identify the child and determine how he ended up in the suitcase, but thus far, those questions remain unanswered.
“Although numerous tips have been called into the nationwide tip line, detectives have not been able to identify the boy,” Indiana State Police said. “Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the child could be from out of state or even out of the country.”
The boy was described as a Black male, about 4 feet tall with a slim build and a short haircut. He’s assumed to have been around 5 years old. Officials suspect he died within a week of being placed in the suitcase.
“It’s a very strange, tragic case,” Sgt. Carey Huls from the Indiana State PoliceWDRB-TV. “Of all the children missing from the missing child’s lists in the country, there is no match for any of the children listed as missing.”
Authorities do not plan to release any renderings or drawings of the child at this time, Huls said, noting that sometimes those images “can lead to misconceptions as well.
“They (detectives feel it’s best for the case not do that,” he stated.
Anybody with information that might help to identify the boy is asked to call the 1-888-437-66432 toll-free tip line.