2:50 p.m.

ALFRED — The pickup truck being sought in connection with the young boy whose body was found in South Berwick over the weekend may belong to a military family, State Police said at a news conference this afternoon.

Lt. Brian McDonough said that the witness who saw the blue Toyota Tacoma on the remote road where the body was found also reported seeing a Navy insignia on the license plate. The witness did not get a clear view of the plate, McDonough said.

Police previously said the lone occupant of the truck appeared to be a woman.

McDonough said that if the child is related to a military family newly located to the area it could explain why nobody has reported knowing who the child is.

The Maine State Crime Lab is conducting a DNA analysis that could be used to help identify the child.

Police said the boy, who was 3 foot 8 inches tall and weighed 45 pounds, appeared to be well-nourished and had been dressed for the weather.

He had dark-blond hair and blue eyes and still had his baby teeth. He was wearing a Faded Glory-brand, gray camouflage hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants and black “Lightning McQueen” sneakers.

Police said they’ve received more than 200 tips from as far away as California. They have shared their information with the Naval Investigative Service, Interpol and Canadian authorities.

10 a.m.

SOUTH BERWICK — Maine State Police have received dozens of additional leads in the case, but the boy remains unidentified, Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said this morning.

The tips came in from all over the country, with many from New England and several from Florida, he said.

State Police will provide updates on the case at a 2 p.m. news conference at their barracks in Alfred. 

12:05 a.m.

SOUTH BERWICK — Maine State Police are following close to 100 leads in their investigation of the suspicious death of a young boy whose body was found off a wooded road over the weekend.

But authorities are frustrated because they have not been able to identify the child, who is believed to have been between 4 and 6 years old. Until they learn who the boy is, it’s difficult to determine what happened to him. They are counting on information from the public.

“This young boy’s face is the best-known face in New England today. Somebody knows who this boy is,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. The case has generated intense regional interest, with 10 television stations and numerous news publications covering a Monday afternoon news conference.

Police believe the boy was placed off Dennett Road around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, and that he may have died only a few hours earlier.

The body, found beneath a stand of hemlocks and covered by a green, army-style blanket, was discovered by a local resident around 5 p.m. Saturday.

The State Computer Crimes Unit generated a likeness of the boy for release to the public. Police have since fielded dozens of calls from Maine and elsewhere. Fifteen investigators are assigned to the case.

“State police have brought all their resources to bear on this,” Col. Robert Williams, chief of the agency, said at the news conference.

State police Lt. Brian McDonough, who is leading the investigation, said Maine police are working closely with counterparts in nearby New Hampshire.

“I am confident we’re doing everything right and we’re covering all the bases,” he said.

The investigation includes the collection and examination of surveillance camera video from the area, as well as tire impressions and footprints from the dirt driveway along which the body was found, McDonough said.

One lead appeared to be promising, but it turned out to be another child matching the description who was fine.

Police also have ruled out reports of missing persons from Michigan and Illinois.

State police, working with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, distributed the boy’s photograph to every school superintendent in New Hampshire and Maine to see if any children matching the boy’s description failed to show up at school, McCausland said.

An autopsy was conducted Sunday, but police are withholding the cause and manner of death.

Police are working under the assumption that the child was left by someone local, given the remoteness of the area, McDonough said.

The body was found near a long driveway connecting a home to the unpaved section of Dennett Road.

The isolated property is some distance from a cluster of homes closer to Route 4.

Residents of the home reported seeing an unfamiliar navy-blue Toyota Tacoma pickup around 7:30 a.m. in the area.

The truck had an extended cab with a full cap over the bed and a white license plate, although the state was not known.

Police said no one living in that area has a truck like that.

They believe the driver was a woman.

Police said the boy, who was 3 foot 8 inches tall and weighed 45 pounds, appeared to be well-nourished and had been dressed for the weather.

He had dark-blond hair and blue eyes and still had his baby teeth. He was wearing a Faded Glory-brand, gray camouflage hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants and black “Lightning McQueen” sneakers.

Sid Hall, who lives on Dennett Road, said he spotted an ambulance and police cars going by Saturday evening and went to investigate.

He encountered Manley Gove, a friend who lives at 100 Dennett Road and who said he had just found a boy’s body in the woods near his house.

“Manley was just about in tears when he told me about it,” Hall said. “It’s enough to make you sick. “

The boy didn’t sound like anybody from the neighborhood, he said.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]