A 3-year-old boy was found dead on his front porch after he apparently wandered outside in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back in, authorities said.
The North Carolina child’s body was discovered by Burke County Sheriff’s deputies answering a 911 call from a motorist who reported seeing a toddler lying in front of a house.
An autopsy conducted Thursday showed no signs of trauma, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s office. Toxicology and other tests are pending.
The boy was found Wednesday at about 7:45 a.m., authorities said. Temperatures had dipped to the 20s overnight. The living room door was open, but the storm door was closed and the child was apparently unable to open it, authorities said.
The toddler’s mother and her boyfriend were asleep inside the house and had no idea the child had wandered outside, authorities said.
“When you come to a tragic situation like this, it’s always heartbreaking for everyone involved, including the officers that [are] investigating this case,” Sheriff Steve Whisenant told reporters.
A phone message left for the sheriff on Thursday by InsideEdition.com was not immediately returned.
"Just to hear what happened, it’s just a tragedy," neighbor David Barrier told WSOC-TV. "We’ve been praying for the family and hope things work out for them."