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Continued: Deputy regrets searchers didn't force open trunk where boy found

The boys’ family, friends and neighbors searched for him and then notified the Sheriff’s Office about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday when they couldn’t find him. That night, the Sheriff’s Office led a search of a 1-square-mile area around the house.

A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter equipped with an infrared device was called to help with the search, which was stopped at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and which resumed again at daybreak.

More than 2,400 volunteer searchers poured into the area, pushing through the sweltering heat, methodically walking across acres of land, calling out Isaiah’s name. The Sheriff’s Office said that word about the missing boy on social media websites attracted many searchers.

On Thursday, Debbra White, 51, of Milltown, Wis., left a teddy bear and a wind chime at a makeshift memorial near a stop sign at 180th Street and 150th Avenue.

“There’s nothing I can say to bring their son back,” said White, who lost her 8-year-old son more than 20 years ago when he drowned in the St. Croix River.

She also left her contact information so that the family could reach out to her. Her 16-year-old son, Dalton, also wrote a note saying, “Sorry about your loss.”

Rachel Humpal, who owns a flower shop nearby, searched for Isaiah from 1 to 3 a.m. Wednesday, along with her husband and parents. She closed her flower shop early on Wednesday and rejoined her husband in the search.

“It still just baffles me. I’m sure we walked by that vehicle how many times,” she said Thursday. “That was one of my first questions — did somebody check the trunk?”

The manner in which the boy’s body was discovered left many of the volunteers who had searched heartbroken.

Melissa Johnson of Centuria joined the search at 8 a.m. Wednesday but was forced to leave at 2 p.m. because of the scorching heat. “I felt horrible. I wanted to keep looking, but I couldn’t,” she said.

“Then to find out that they found him in the trunk of a car … it hurts. … Why didn’t they open that trunk up and look?” she said. “I don’t understand it.”

On Thursday, she left an angel at the memorial site for Isaiah.

“At least we found him,” she said. “His family can have closure.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 612-710-5367 • 612-673-4482


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