Indiana authorities on Friday determined the cause of death for an approximately 5-year-old boy found deceased inside a suitcase in April to be an electrolyte imbalance, which can be caused by dehydration and malnutrition.
A Sellersburg-area resident was foraging mushrooms in a densely wooded area in Washington County on April 16 when he discovered the boy's body by the 7000 block of East Holder Road — about a 45-minute drive to Louisville — and called 911.
The boy had been stuffed inside a hard suitcase with a Las Vegas design, according to the Indiana State Police (ISP).
On Friday, police released the results of an official autopsy report that determined the boy's cause of death as an "electrolyte imbalance," likely from "a viral gastroenteritis," or intestinal inflammation caused by bacteria or parasites. The report also states that there was an "absence of significant traumatic injuries" on the boy and "no anatomical cause of death."
Detectives have no reason to believe the boy was placed inside the suitcase while he was alive and further determined that the boy was cleaned and clothed when he was discovered, ISP said Friday.
Despite receiving "numerous tips" since police released their initial request for the public's help in investigating the child's cause of death, they have not been able to identify the boy, who is described as a young, Black male around the age of 5.
Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that he could have been from out of state "or even out of the country," ISP said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to call the nationwide toll-free tip line at 1-888-437-6432.