Missing western Wisconsin toddler found dead in trunk of neighbor's car [UPDATE]

Categories: Tragedy
Isaiah Theis.
-- Original post published 9:20 a.m. on July 18. Updates at bottom --

After 10 p.m. last night, an officer found the body of 2-year-old Isaiah Theis, who disappeared around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night from his family's home near Centuria, Wisconsin, which is about 60 miles northeast of St. Paul.

The boy was last seen playing with his brother inside their home. After he was reported missing, about about 450 volunteers joined law enforcement agencies in a search effort, according to a Pionner Press report.

At this point, authorities haven't disclosed any details about the circumstances of Isaiah's discovery, including where his body was found, or what might've happened to him between Tuesday evening and when he was discovered more than 24 hours later. But officials will supply more details this morning at a 10 a.m. press conference.

We'll update this post afterward.

:::: UPDATE 1::::

At today's press conference, the Polk County sheriff said Isaiah's body was found locked in the trunk of a neighbor's car. No cause of death has yet been determined.

More from WCCO:
The vehicle was located on the property where the boy lived, the Polk County sheriff said...

The sheriff's office said the vehicle had been looked into several times. Searchers had been told, the sheriff said, that the vehicle was locked prior to the boy being reported missing.

:::UPDATE 2:::

According to Fox 9 News, in a statement issued Friday afternoon, the Polk County Sheriff's Office ruled the toddler's death was most likely due to hyperthermia. There were no signs of life-threatening injuries found on his body.

Authorities are still investigating the incident to see if it was an accident or if there was foul play.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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I forgot to say, the Barney Fife school of rural law enforcement should have ended with the Jacob Wetterling case!


Another story we will never hear the truth about. All the evidence on the car was tampered with. The child would have been making noise if he wasn't already deceased when he was put in the trunk. The trunk was locked? Ever heard of a crow bar?

MNjoe topcommenter

How the heck do the cops not immediately check all the vehicles on the property? If it were a black guy they were profiling, they'd have been in the trunk right away digging around.  This is so sad and if the cops were doing their jobs, possibly avoidable.

Melissa Chelberg
Melissa Chelberg

According to KSTP, the car was on the parents property, not a neighbor's.


So sad! Ruined my morning! Sorry for your loss!

Michael Gacek
Michael Gacek

was so hoping to not see this news in the news, :( so very sad....


@Melissa-Mellie Chelberg  That's what this says, too, it was a neighbors car on the parents property.

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