The death of 2-year-old Isaiah Theis was likely heat-related, according to preliminary autopsy results released Friday afternoon by the Anoka County medical examiner. The cause of death was listed as "probable hyperthermia" while the manner of death is still under investigation.
The boy's body was found in the trunk of a car parked on the family's Centuria, Wis. property Wednesday night, ending a 26-hour search that brought dozens of concerned volunteers to the Polk County town. The car in which Isaiah's body was found was parked near the family's car repair business, next to the Theis family home.
Friday's autopsy results show Isaiah did not suffocate in the car trunk, and they also show he suffered no traumatic injuries. The examination found he was an otherwise healthy, normally-developed and well-nourished boy.
The big question remains: How did the 2-year-old get into the trunk of the car?
"I know that there's strong interest in what caused it and what things led to the boy getting in that car," Polk County Chief Deputy Steve Moe said. "It's just too early."
The other big question of why the car wasn't searched earlier was addressed Wednesday, but not to the satisfaction of volunteers who poured their time, effort and emotions into the search.
"Would we liked to have forced entry to the car? Yeah, from my personal perspective," Moe said.
"There are just too many holes," said search volunteer Holly Jensen. "We were there. I thought I heard a baby crying and I was told to go to the command center. I told the cop I didn't feel comfortable. It wasn't right."
Moe said investigators assumed Isaiah wandered off, as he had a tendency to do, and that all the cars on the property had been locked. He said deputies didn't have access to the car keys and didn't know if a set of keys were on the property during the search.
Both of Isaiah Theis' parents have taken polygraph tests as investigators try to determine what happened.