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Boy found dead in suitcase in southern Indiana, police say

Boy's body found in suitcase
Washington County woods
Washington County woods
Location of boy's body discovered
Posted at 5:36 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 12:40:44-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY— The body of a young boy that was found Saturday in a wooded area of rural southern Indiana was discovered inside a suitcase, police now say.

A photo of the suitcase provided by Indiana State Police shows it had a distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back.

Police continue to ask for the public's assistance, hoping someone who recognizes the suitcase will come forward.

Boy's body found in suitcase
Police say the body of a boy was found inside this suitcase Saturday, April 16 in the 7000 block of East Holder Road in Washington County.

Police also have now specified the boy was found in the 7000 block of East Holder Road.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday but the cause of the child's death has not yet been determined, ISP said. Toxicology results are still pending.

Based on the autopsy, investigators believe the child is about 5 years old. He's described as Black, about 4 feet tall, with a slender build and short hair.

Washington County woods
Here's a view of the area where Indiana State Police say a boy believed to be about 5 years old was found Saturday, April 16 in rural Washington County
Washington County woods
Here's a view of the area where Indiana State Police say a boy believed to be about 5 years old was found Saturday, April 16 in rural Washington County

Police believe the child died sometime within the last week.

A resident was mushroom hunting around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when they found the body near a roadway, police have said.

Troopers described the area as a very rural, heavily wooded area with not a lot of houses nearby.

A national tip line has been established. Police say they have received nearly 200 calls from the public, but none have led to the identification of the boy.

"Investigators are thankful for all the tips that are coming in but ask that the public does not send information on children already documented as missing at this time. Investigators say those cases are already being looked into," ISP said.

ISP Sgt. Carey Huls told ABC affiliate WHAS-TV the vast majority of calls the agency has received have to do with a missing person from Virginia.

"We're well aware of that case. It's not a match — and a lot of people are giving that information. What we're asking for is not tips of already-documented missing children who are already on a website someplace. We're well aware of those. We're asking for those tips that might come in about somebody who has not been reported," Huls said.

Huls said the suitcase was sealed and was about 80 feet from the roadway when it was found.

"It's a tragic situation," Huls said. "I know it's disturbing and shocking, but we're hoping that with the release of the image of the suitcase, that might jog somebody's memory."

The child's cause and time of death will be determined by the coroner. Once autopsy results come back, troopers say a more specific age could be available.

ISP says it's contacted schools and other local agencies to inquire about a child who didn't show up, but there haven't been any matches.

Tips can be submitted to 1-888-437-6432. The post's 800 number only works within the State of Indiana.

You can also contact Detective Matt Busick with the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg at 1-812-248-4374 or 1-800-872-6743.