The body of a 2-year-old boy who had wandered away from his rural western Wisconsin home on Tuesday night was found Wednesday evening, authorities said.

An officer found the body shortly after 10 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. No other details were released, but Sheriff Peter Johnson said he would have more information to reveal in a statement at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Isaiah Theis was last seen about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday while playing with his 5-year-old brother in his Polk County home near Centuria, his mother told the Sheriff’s Office. At first, the boy’s relatives, friends and neighbors looked for the boy, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Hundreds of searchers scoured fields, forests and ponds Wednesday looking for him.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, and it led a search of a 1-square-mile area around the house Tuesday night. Hundreds of volunteers poured into the area on Wednesday, pushing through the sweltering heat in search of the boy. The Sheriff’s Office said that word about the boy on various social media websites attracted many of the volunteer searchers.

A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter, equipped with an infrared device, was called in Tuesday night. The search ended about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and resumed after sunrise about 6 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office added.

Isaiah lived with his family in the 1500 block of 180th Street near Centuria, which is about 40 miles east of North Branch, Minn., and roughly 60 miles northeast of St. Paul.

This search was being carried out about 40 miles south of another one that ended in tragedy last summer. Three-year-old Renna Mae Williams wandered away from her family’s home in Danbury one evening last August. Her body was found a few days later in a canal not far from her home. An autopsy found that she had drowned.

 

pwalsh@startribune.com