Autopsy planned after 3-year-old found dead on porch in Burke County

BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A three-year-old was found dead on a porch in Morganton Wednesday morning.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office says a motorist called around 7:45 a.m. to report what they thought was a child lying on the front porch of a home in the 1200 block of Hopewell Road.

Deputies say they arrived a short time later and found the 3-year-old's body.

Neighbor Judy Hensley feels sorrow and shock about the case. It all unfolded next door to her Burke County home and she wonders how long the little boy survived outdoors.

"It was terrible. It was very, very cold here down in the 20's. Last night we had a lot of wind," she said.

For roughly four hours Wednesday morning, Burke County deputies scoured the porch where the boy was found and left the house with evidence from the scene.

Sheriff Steve Whisenant says his investigation has specific issues in mind.

"[We're] trying to determine how the child got outside, how long the child had been outside, and what the actual cause of death is," Sheriff Whisenant said.

The sheriff is not ready to rush to judgment and says people who came into contact with the child are cooperating.

"We're just interviewing the people that were there: the mother, the boyfriend, family members, neighbors and make a determination of the best, the best reason of what happened in that situation," he said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, and so far no names have been released.

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