WASHINGTON COUNTY, INDIANA, Ind. — Police are asking for help identifying a young child who was found dead near a road in rural Washington County on Saturday.
The child's body was found by a person who was mushroom hunting near a road in a heavily wooded and secluded area of eastern Washington County.
The person found the child around 7:30 p.m. and immediately called 911, Indiana State Police said. Washington County deputies responded and, later, ISP detectives were called to investigate.
ISP spokesman Carey Huls said the area where the child was found is a "very rural" and quiet community. For the person who found the child, and for the officers handling the case, Huls said it's "shocking."
"Very disturbing, very shocking, very traumatic event, very sad event not only for the person who located [the child] but for the officers also," Huls said.
Huls said several detectives are investigating the child's death, and they've been working "nonstop" since the call came in Saturday night.
"Someone out there either knows and isn't saying something or hasn't seen he's missing yet," Huls said. "Somebody out there knows the answer."
Now, those investigators are asking for the public's help identifying the child. He's described as a young, Black male child between the ages of 5 and 8 years old. He's about 4 feet tall, has a slim build and a short haircut.
"We need help so we can bring justice to this young boy who obviously didn't deserve [this]," Huls said.
Investigators believe the child died sometime within the last week. ISP said investigators haven't released a time or cause of death because an autopsy is pending.
"It's a very, very sad and tragic thing nobody wants to go through but we need the public's help...somebody out there knows who this child is," Huls said while pleading for anyone with information to come forward.
Huls said investigators are not releasing information relating to the child’s clothing or the specific area where the body was located. However, police will canvass the area and check to see if anyone has any video footage that could possibly help them in their investigation.
"We're going to turn over every stone. We're going to look anywhere we have to...because it's really vital to this investigation to find out who this child is," Huls said.
Huls added that detectives have reached out to local agencies in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and the Missing Persons Clearinghouse to see if they can help identify the child. However, Huls said at this point, "we don't have a name, we don't have any circumstances to go with this child...so we need the public's help."
Police have received tips about the body possibly belonging to Cody Bigsby, a missing 4-year-old out of Hampton, Virginia. They are still looking into that case, but do not believe that will be a match.
No current missing child cases in Indiana have matched the body found, according to police.
Anyone with information that might help identify the child is being asked to call the tip line at 1-888-437-6432.
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