- (Photo: YouTube Screen Shot)
A toddler has been found dead in the trunk of a customer's car outside his home where his father works repairing cars in western Wisconsin.
The horrific find came just hours after authorities had called off a search of the surrounding property.
The frantic search took place throughout Wednesday in the extreme heat, drawing 2,000 volunteers, as the local community came together in a desperate attempt to find the much-loved toddler.
Isaiah Theis, 2, disappeared on Tuesday night, sparking the huge search, however, on Wednesday night at about 10.15 p.m. his family's worst fears were realized after a Polk County sheriff's deputy found his body in the trunk of the locked vehicle when the owner came to retrieve it.
Authorities later confirmed that searchers had spotted the car and had looked inside and around it several times throughout the day, but the owner was not there and there was no reason found to search the truck at that time.
Chief Deputy Steve Moe told reporters at a news conference that with the advantage of hindsight he wished he had ordered the trunk to have been searched.
However, he added that the searchers were conducting their search under the assumption that the little boy had wandered off on Tuesday night, having been told by his family that he had a tendency to wander off. All the cars nearby were locked and there appeared no strong reason to check each car on the street at that time.
Moe added that officers did not have access to the keys.
He also refused to answer questions about how the toddler may have ended up in the trunk, saying that he would not speculate at this time and that the investigation was still ongoing.
An autopsy has been ordered to find the cause of death of the child, and the autopsy results have been requested to be expedited.
Here is a video of authorities reporting the news to media about the tragic finding of the two year old's body: