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Car where toddler was found dead outside family auto business

POLK COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - The car where two-year-old Isaiah Thies was found dead was located outside an auto repair business that his father runs at their rural Centuria home.

Polk County Chief Deputy Steve Moe said his officers regret not trying to enter the trunk before the vehicle’s owner came by to retrieve it late Wednesday night.

Isaiah wandered off Tuesday evening from his rural home near Centuria.

Sheriff Peter Johnson told reporters yesterday that up to 2,450 volunteers took part in a search – many of whom learned about it through social media. Johnson said officers assumed that all the cars at the shop were locked before the child disappeared.

Moe said deputies did not have access to any of the keys, and he now wishes somebody would have asked. Moe said searchers checked the area several times and turned up nothing. He said it’s way too early to determine how Isaiah entered the trunk, or how he died.

An autopsy was being performed Thursday, but the results were not immediately available. The state Justice Department is helping with the investigation – and for now, officials rule nothing out.