BURKE COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - An autopsy conducted on a toddler found dead outside a home in Burke County Wednesday shows no signs of trauma, according to the Burke County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies were called about 7:45 a.m. to a home in the 1200 block of Hopewell Road in Morganton
Deputies said they received a 911 call from a man driving by who said he thought there may be a child lying on the front porch of the home.
When deputies arrived they said they found a 3-year-old child that was deceased.
"Being a mother and a great-grandmother myself and that being my home place, it has touched me greatly," one neighbor said, who was visibly upset.
Deputies said the front door to the home was open but the storm door on the outside was closed.
“It just shocked me. It was just odd. It’s so cold outside. I don’t know if he’s alright or not, if he got out and froze to death or what,” the 911 caller said to dispatch.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office said the 3-year-old’s mother and her boyfriend were asleep when a deputy got to the home.
“It was horrible and I knew it had been so cold and I saw that the child had on clothing,” Judy Hensley said, a neighbor.
Hensley lives next door. She saw a deputy’s car and went over to find out what happened and then she saw the little boy dead on the porch.
Neighbors tell FOX 46 Charlotte that a less than 6-month-old baby girl also lives at the home with the 3-year-old boy who died.
“It was terrible. Very, very cold in the 20s. Last night we had a lot of wind like we do right now too,” Hensley said.
Hensley had just met the 3-year-old last week when his mom and her boyfriend brought him and the baby girl over to introduce themselves.
“He was just an average cute little boy and he was playing on an iPad,” she explained.
Hensley said the boyfriend has been living at the house for a while but his girlfriend, the children’s mother, had just recently started staying over at the house.
The sheriff said the toddler’s mom and her boyfriend are not in custody right now. He said they are being interviewed and are cooperating. It’s too early to tell how the child died, but the sheriff said there were no overt physical injuries to the 3-year-old’s body.
Toxicology and other tests will not be available for approximately two weeks. The investigation is ongoing.