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ISP looking for caregivers of young boy found dead in Southern Indiana woods

The boy has yet to be identified, but he is believe to have been between the ages of 5 and 8
Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls gives the latest information regarding a child death...
Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls gives the latest information regarding a child death investigation in Washington County on April 18, 2022.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 2:38 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Indiana State Police are working to identify a young boy who was found dead in the woods in eastern Washington County on Saturday evening.

“We are dealing with the death of a young man who was discovered Saturday,” ISP Sgt. Carey Huls said on Monday. “He was in somebody’s custody and care for his daily needs. … We still haven’t gotten any information.”

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Huls said that the child, who is Black, was likely between the ages of 5 and 8, had short hair, a slim build, and stood approximately 4 feet tall. He didn’t say what the child was wearing or where exactly the body was discovered.

“Any investigation it’s best to keep the cards close to your chest,” he said. “It’s best at this point to withhold that information.”

The person who found the boy’s body initially told police he was mushroom hunting when he found him around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Investigators believe the child died sometime within the last week.

“Somebody out there either knows and isn’t saying something or hasn’t had the opportunity to see this in the media yet and doesn’t know,” Huls said.

Huls told WAVE News investigators are leaving no stone unturned and will consider all information they receive.

“This obviously could be a national thing,” Huls said. “It could be a child from any location. We’re not going to preclude anybody, and we’re going to look at any information that comes in that could answer the question of the identity of this child.”

ISP has asked the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s forensics services team for assistance. The organization told WAVE News law enforcement contacts them around a dozen times a year to ask for their help with cases similar to this one.

“(The media) is a great way to spread awareness that we do need help, that authorities are trying to identify a little boy, so that we can increase the chances of getting that one tip, that one piece of information we need to help resolve this case,” Carol Schweitzer, manager of the forensic services team for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said.

When asked if the boy could be Codi Bigsby, a missing 4-year-old child from Virginia, Huls said it was unlikely.

“We don’t believe that’s going to be a match but we are looking into that,” he said.

Authorities are awaiting autopsy results before declaring the case a homicide. Currently, it remains a “death investigation.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. However, it’s possible the boy’s cause of death will not be released to maintain the investigation’s integrity.

A direct tip line at (888) 437-6432 has been set up for people to give information to investigators regarding the case. Because the ISP social media sites are not constantly monitored, using them to contact investigators is not recommended.

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