Autopsy shows 3-year-old found dead in van in Iron County, Missouri froze to death

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IRON COUNTY, Mo. -- Preliminary results of an autopsy performed Thursday on the three-year-old boy whose body was found inside a van in Iron County on Wednesday show the boy froze to death, according to FOX 2 in St. Louis.

The coroner says that the preliminary autopsy results show that Titus Grayson Tackett died of hypothermia, which means he had a dangerously low body temperature. The preliminary autopsy shows Titus had no evidence of child abuse- no bruises or internal injuries.

Iron County is about 90 miles south of St. Louis. A nearby homeowner found Titus Grayson Tackett's body in the van, roughly a mile away from where Tackett was last seen. Authorities have not said who owns the van the toddler was found in.

There is currently no explanation of how Tackett wound up in the van, and five agencies are now working together as the investigation moves forward. According to officials, there are no obvious signs of foul play at this point, but that conclusion is preliminary.


Titus Grayson Tackett Courtesy: FOX2now
Titus Grayson Tackett
Courtesy: FOX2now

Tackett was reported missing between midnight and 1 a.m. Wednesday. Sheriff Medley reportedly told the Daily Journal Online that the boy's parents said they left the toddler with a grandparent when they went to run an errand around midnight. When the parents returned home around 1 a.m. they noticed the door to the house was open and the child was missing.

More than 80 volunteers combed the area for signs of the toddler and K-9 units and FBI helicopters were also dispatched.

Around 11 a.m. a man ran into the volunteer briefing room and said "I need a sheriff right now." That volunteer had been flagged down by a homeowner who saw Tackett's body in the van.

"At this point, it's too early to determine exactly how he got out of the house that is why the investigation is going to continue with the Missouri Highway Patrol, FBI and Iron County Sheriff's Department," said MHP Sergeant Clark Parrott.

Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy, but officials do not believe there is a suspect on the loose. They have currently interviewed everyone involved and are receiving full cooperation.

For more coverage, follow FOX 2 in St. Louis.



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