Indiana police say boy found dead in Las Vegas-themed suitcase could be from out of country

Indiana State Police pleads for information to identify Black boy found dead in suitcase on April 16

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Indiana State Police is still appealing to the public for information to identify a Black boy around the age of five whose body was found stuffed in a Las Vegas-themed suitcase in a heavily wooded area of the state last month, even though investigators so far have remained tight-lipped about the case. 

In a recent on-camera interview with WAVE, Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls said nothing is being precluded in the investigation, including whether the boy could have been local or even from out of the country. 

"For some reason, nobody’s noticing that he’s missing," Huls said. "It could be someone not from this country. Very possible. We’re not precluding anything like that in the investigation." 

INDIANA CHILD FOUND DEAD IN SUITCASE BY MUSHROOM HUNTER 

"We have to ask ourselves, how can a young boy go missing and nobody know that he’s missing?" he said. "It’s very troubling and something our detectives are working around the clock to find the answers for." 

Huls defended his detectives for not yet releasing a sketch or an artist’s rendition of the deceased boy, saying they are preserving the integrity of the investigation. An autopsy has been conducted, but no information as to the cause of death could be determined, and toxicology results are still pending, he said. 

Picture of suitcase in which victim was found, provided by Indiana State Police

Picture of suitcase in which victim was found, provided by Indiana State Police (Indiana State Police)

"This boy deserves justice, and we’re not going to do anything to jeopardize it," he said. "I understand people want answers, we want answers, obviously. We want to find out who this young man is, this little boy, give him a voice and for justice to prevail in this case. But sometimes the best way to do that is to let the people doing their jobs use everything at their disposal, and sometimes that takes time."

A Sellersburg, Indiana, resident out hunting for mushrooms reported finding the body of a Black boy near a roadway in a heavily wooded area of eastern Washington County around 7:30 p.m. on April 16. 

The victim was found inside a suitcase with the message, "Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada."

The boy was described as between the ages of five and eight, about four feet tall with a slim build and a short haircut. His death was believed to have occurred within a week of the remains being found.    

Huls said the most common tip is that the unidentified boy could be Codi Bigsby, a four-year-old boy missing from Hampton, Virginia, even though there is no link between the separate cases.      

"We still repeatedly get calls in reference to Codi Bigsby from Virginia even though we’ve made that public that it does not appear to be a match," Huls told WAVE last week. "We still get that tip over and over again more than any other tip even though we said we’re not looking in that direction." 

Indiana State Police in Sellersburg first requested assistance from the public on April 17. 

Anyone with information that could help identify the child is encouraged to call Det. Matt Busick with the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg at 1-812-248-4374 or 1-800-872-6743.

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"The images that you see – they stay with you," Huls told WAVE. "It’s troubling to think a young man like this – something like this can happen – and no one wants to bring it forward and say this is what we know." 

"It’s the kind of investigation you think about constantly throughout the day," he added. "I can personally say it’s kept me up, and I’m not on the front line with those detectives."