• Bill Raines

Investigators receive Autopsy and Toxicology Report in Unknown Child Death Investigation



SELLERSBURG- Friday, May 27, 2022: Detectives and investigators with the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg received the official autopsy and toxicology report regarding the unidentified child found in a suitcase in rural Washington County on April 16th, 2022.

The official autopsy report attributes the child’s death to “electrolyte imbalance”. The report also states the imbalance was likely from “a viral gastroenteritis” and says the blood toxicology was “negative”. The report further states there was an “absence of significant traumatic injuries”, advising there was “no anatomical cause of death”.

After the autopsy results were released, detectives also stated they have no evidence which leads them to believe the child was alive when placed into the suitcase, and that the child was clothed and clean. Although the autopsy report states the child is of unknown age, investigators still believe the boy was approximately five years old at the time of his death.

Investigators continue to utilize a variety of investigative techniques and have worked with several outside agencies during this investigation. Although numerous tips have been called into the nationwide tip line, detectives have not been able to identify the boy. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the child could be from out of state or even out of the country.

The unidentified child is described as a young, black male approximately five years old. The child is approximately four feet tall and has a slim build and a short haircut. The child’s body was found inside a closed hard case suitcase with a distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back. The suitcase was located approximately 80 feet off Holder Road in a heavily wooded area of eastern Washington County which is located in southern Indiana.

If anyone has information regarding this case, they are encouraged to call the nationwide toll-free tip line at 1-888-437-6432.

Original news releases listed below.

1. ISP Requests Public’s Assistance in Death Investigation of Child

Washington County - The Indiana State Police in Sellersburg are requesting the public's assistance in a death investigation that began on Saturday, April 16, 2022.

Around 7:30 Saturday evening, while mushroom hunting, an area resident found the body of a black male child near a roadway in a heavily wooded area of eastern Washington County. The resident immediately called 911 and the Washington County Sheriff's Department responded. Detectives with the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg were then called to investigate.

At this time in the investigation, detectives need the public's help in identifying the child. He is described as being a young, black male between the ages of five years old and eight years old. The child is approximately four feet tall and has a slim build and a short haircut. Investigators believe the child's death occurred sometime within the last week.

Investigators have not released a time or cause of death as an autopsy is pending.

2. ISP Continues to ask for Public’s Help in Identification of Deceased Child

Sellersburg – April 19, 2022: Detectives with the Indiana State Police continue to ask for the public’s help in identifying a deceased child located in rural Washington County on Saturday.

A toll-free tip line was established on Monday, and Investigators have received approximately 200 calls from the public. Unfortunately, none of those calls have led to the identification of the deceased child. Many of those calls related to information of children already documented as missing. 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 in to.

An autopsy was conducted on Tuesday; however, no information as to the cause of death was determined. Results of the toxicology report are still pending, and investigators are hopeful that information will shed more light on the cause of death.

Based on information provided by the autopsy, Investigators believe the child is approximately 5 years old. He is described as a black male, approximately four feet tall, with a slender build and short haircut.

Investigators are now releasing the location where the child was located as the 7000 block of East Holder Road in Washington County. Tragically, the child was located inside a closed hard case suitcase. The suitcase has a distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back and a photo is attached to this news release. Investigators hope this image will lead to more specific tips and the identification of the child.

Anyone with information is asked to call the toll-free number established for this case: 1-888-437-6432.


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