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UPDATE: Theis died from hyperthermia

Preliminary autopsy results show that a two-year-old Polk County boy died from hyperthermia – a large spike in his body heat – after he was found dead in a car trunk on Wednesday night. Isaiah Theis was found in a customer’s vehicle while it was waiting for service at an auto repair business run by the boy’s father at his home near Centuria. Officials have not said how he got into the trunk – where he was not visible to searchers who passed by the cars several times after Isaiah disappeared Tuesday night. Toxicology test results are pending. Polk County sheriff’s officials said early results showed that the toddler was well-nourished and well-developed, and was not sick or had any life-threatening injuries or bone fractures. The exact cause of Isaiah’s death remains under investigation. He was stuck in 90-degree heat, while over 24-hundred volunteers were looking for him. 


Folks in northwest Wisconsin may have lost a two-year-old boy – but they gained a new trust in humanity. Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson said 24-hundred-50 people volunteered to look for young Isaiah Thies on Tuesday night and Wednesday. That was before a deputy found the boy’s body late Wednesday night. Social media announced the need for searchers. The total number was two-and-a-half times the population of nearby Centuria, which has just 950 residents. Polk County Emergency Management Director Kathy Poirier calls it the largest search effort she could ever remember. She tells the Saint Paul Pioneer Press she was amazed, but not surprised. Businesses, churches, and others donated food-and-water for the searchers, as they combed a one-square-mile area in searing 90-degree heat. Pallets of bottled water were never consumed. Poirier says they’ll be donated to fire departments and food-relief efforts. Investigators blocked off access to the site yesterday, as they started looking for clues on how young Isaiah might have died. There were new signs of caring, as well-wishers left stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial at one of the roadblocks. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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