Missing Tennesee toddler Noah Chamberlin was found dead on Thursday.
Chester County Sheriff Blair Weaver and Madison County Sheriff John Mehr announced the news in a press conference later that day, calling his death “a tragic accident” and dispelling any rumors that foul play was involved.
“We have found Noah Chamberlin,” Sheriff Weaver said through tears. “He was located about one and half miles from his home where he went missing from. The family’s been notified.”
The two-year-old disappeared exactly one week ago after being separated from his family during a hike in the woods. Law enforcement officials and hundreds of community volunteers searched throughout his hometown of Pinson daily.
During a press conference on Monday, Sheriff Weaver said officials believed Noah was still in the search area and that all registered sex offenders had been interviewed.
In a following press conference on Saturday, Sheriff Weaver said Noah wasn’t located by 7 a.m. on Sunday, they would request help from statewide agencies.
Days later, Noah was located during a foot search in a recently extended search area.
“Everyday we expanded our search further and further,” Madison County Chief Eric Turner said. “This was an area – it was on the outskirts of what we had searched and we were back searching it for the second time. It was right on the borderline of where we’ve been searching. They walked up on him.”
The men also added that tracks and scent dogs led them to believe Noah was still in the woods, which is why they continued searching in the same area where he was last seen, although he was found further away than expected.
An autopsy will be requested, however sheriffs reiterated that there was no evidence of foul play and a criminal investigation will not be opened.