UPDATE: Second New Carlisle child dies after found in trunk

Police hope autopsy provide clues to what happened

June 18, 2011|By JEFF HARRELL | South Bend Tribune Staff WriterM

NEW CARLISLE — Police are uncertain how two young boys found their way into the trunk of a car sitting in the driveway of their New Carlisle home Friday afternoon.

On Friday night, police revealed that 2-year-old Isaac Dunner died after being shut in the trunk on a day when temperatures reached a high of 85 degrees. Now authorities say his half-brother, 4-year-old Dominik Wilk, has also died.

The boys were taken to Memorial Hospital after their mother, Jacqueline Wilk, discovered the children about 3 p.m. Friday.

“She did find them,” said Lt. David Wells, assistant commander of Metro Homicide.

How Jacqueline Wilk came to discover the boys shut in the trunk, Wells added, “is all part of the investigation.”

Details are sketchy as to how the two youngsters got into the trunk of the gray 2000 Chevy Malibu that remained open, surrounded by yellow police tape, three hours after they were discovered Friday afternoon - an ominous sight on this otherwise quiet New Carlisle block on East Ada Street filled with tidy brick homes and well-manicured lawns.

“This is really a good little town,” said Donna, a neighbor who gave her first name only. “This is awful.”

Neighbors said the boys lived at the home in the 300 block of E. Ada Street with their mother and their grandparents, who own the home and run a popular bakery in New Carlisle.

“We don’t know how long they were inside (the trunk),” Wells said. “We’re trying to build a timeline and trying to figure out when they were last seen and how long they could have been in there.”

At about 3:30 p.m., neighbor Josh Esquibel said he saw the father of one of the boys drive up the street “fairly fast” and stop in front of the home.

“He got out, and he was weak in the knees,” Esquibel said, noting that police had to “hold him up under a tree.

“He almost fainted.”

As police performed CPR on the boys at the scene, neighbors heard the mother crying and screaming.

“Anytime children are involved, obviously it pulls at the heartstrings,” Wells said.

“We’ve had cases like this before and certainly we read about them all the time, all over the country,” Wells added.

The Metro Homicide lieutenant urged parents to “use common sense and due diligence” to make sure children are safe, particularly during the summer months when they spend more time playing outdoors.

“We can’t stress enough in accordance with keeping an eye on the kids and making sure they understand the dangers of playing in cars and playing in trunks of cars, especially when the heat is up,” Wells said.

“It’s just not good to allow your children to play around cars.”

An autopsy is scheduled Monday to determine the official cause of Isaac Dunner and Dominik Wilk's death.

Staff writer Jeff Harrell:

Updated information added by WSBT-TV

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