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County deputies helped in search for boy

More than two dozen peace officers from St. Croix County joined other law enforcement personnel in the search for a missing 2-year-old boy in Polk County last week.

Isaiah Theis wandered away from the family home near Centuria June 16. He was discovered shortly after 10 p.m. June 17 in the trunk of a car on the family property by a deputy.

Patrol Lt. Jason Sykora said 24 sheriff's deputies, two officers from the Woodville Police Department and two from New Richmond Police Department answered the call for help in the search for the boy.

"We called everybody who was off duty and backfilled shifts so our people could assist," said Sheriff John Shilts.

The big task was organizing the many volunteers from the community who joined the search, said Chief Deputy Scott Knudson.

"There were more than 2,000 signed up," he said.

Temperatures were in the high 90s with accompanying humidity and an overflow of volunteers had to wait for their turn at a search party.

"We had to keep them hydrated and manage the resources, such as water," Knudson said.

Churches, businesses and individuals donated food and water for the volunteers.

"Because we are small counties and municipalities, it's not uncommon to request help from your neighbors," said Shilts. "When they request, we respond."

When St. Croix County needs assistance, it gets response from the neighboring counties and municipalities as well.

"This kind of thing happens fairly frequently," he said.

Polk County authorities were continuing an investigation into how the tragedy occurred. The boys' body was found in the trunk of a Chevrolet Impala, one of three cars on the family property where Isaiah's father worked as a mechanic.