Officials: Body of missing toddler found inside van; autopsy pen - KMOV.com

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Officials: Body of missing toddler found inside van; autopsy pending

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A search area was created in Iron County for Titus Tackett (Credit: Family photo / Skyzoom) A search area was created in Iron County for Titus Tackett (Credit: Family photo / Skyzoom)
Police agencies around a van where the body of a missing toddler was found (Credit: KMOV) Police agencies around a van where the body of a missing toddler was found (Credit: KMOV)
Police agencies around a van where the body of a missing toddler was found (Credit: KMOV) Police agencies around a van where the body of a missing toddler was found (Credit: KMOV)

IRON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The body of a missing 3-year-old was found inside a van in the Lake Killarney area in Iron County Wednesday, officials said. 

Titus Grayson Tackett's body was inside the van when he was found by a nearby homeowner. An autopsy was completed, but nothing was found to be unusual. The medical examiner said the full autopsy will be completed after the toxicology report comes back in 30 days. 

The van was found roughly a mile away from where Tackett was last seen. Authorities have not said who owns the van the toddler was found in, but did mention that the van isn't owned by the family.

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. 

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.

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The area in Iron County where Tackett’s body was found is roughly 90 miles south of St. Louis.

Stay tuned to News 4 and KMOV.com for more on this developing news.

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