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Indiana State Police release cause of death for child found in suitcase

A blue hard shell suitcase with the words "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas."
Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police
Indiana State Police say the body of a young boy was found in this suitcase in a wooded area in Eastern Washington County. They do not yet know his name or cause of death, and hope the photo of the suitcase may bring in more tips that lead to that information.

Indiana State Police have released details from the autopsy and toxicology report of an unknown child whose body was found in a suitcase last month.

The autopsy report listed the cause of death as “electrolyte imbalance,” which was attributed to “viral gastroenteritis.” The child had no significant traumatic injuries, and the report said there was “no anatomical cause of death.”

ISP said the child was “clothed and clean,” and investigators do not believe he was alive when he was put in the suitcase.

The child has not been identified. Investigators described him as a roughly four-foot-tall Black male with a slim build and short hair, who was about five years old. Mushroom hunters in a heavily-wooded area of Washington County found his body last month in a hard-shell suitcase with the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign in its design.

Investigators say it’s possible the child could be from a different state or country. People can share possible tips about the case by calling 1-888-437-6432.

John Boyle is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. John's coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and Samtec, Inc.

John, News Editor for LPM, is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Email John at jboyle@lpm.org.