Unidentified boy found in suitcase in Indiana laid to rest

Jun 1, 2022, 11:58 AM | Updated: Jun 2, 2022, 5:51 am

SALEM, Ind. (AP) — A young boy found dead inside a suitcase in a heavily wooded area of southern Indiana was laid to rest Wednesday following a memorial service in which a police chaplain called the unidentified child an “unknown angel.”

Mourners gathered at the Weathers Funeral Home in Salem, Indiana, for Wednesday morning’s service. The child’s gray casket was topped by a floral arrangement and stuffed animals.

Todd Murphy, the chaplain for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said donations from local residents and businesses paid for the funeral. The child remains unidentified more than a month and a half after his body was discovered by a mushroom hunter in Washington County.

“We’re not here today to answer these questions, even if we could. We’re here to mourn,” Murphy told mourners who filled a room for the service.

“This unknown angel has been adopted and beloved by the Washington County community, so Angel is what we will call him for the service today,” he added.

The boy was later buried at a cemetery in Salem, a city about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Louisville, Kentucky, with a gravestone marker bearing the image of an angel and an inscription that reads: “In loving memory of a beloved little boy known but to God.”

His body was found on April 16 inside a hard suitcase emblazoned with a distinctive Las Vegas design on its front and back. Investigators believe the child, who was Black, was about 5 years old and had died within the previous week.

Investigators have checked a national database for missing children but have found no match, Indiana State Police said.

An autopsy found that the boy died from an electrolyte imbalance most likely due to gastroenteritis, or vomiting and diarrhea that led to dehydration, state police said.

Police have created a special tip line for people to share information about the child, 1-888-437-6432.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

4 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

5 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

8 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

11 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

22 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Unidentified boy found in suitcase in Indiana laid to rest