DENTON, Texas - A missing 2-year-old boy from Denton has been found dead in an SUV near his apartment complex.
Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said a neighbor who was leaving for work found Sarbesh Gurung's body in the vehicle just after 6 a.m.
Chief Dixon said there is still a lot his investigators do not know about the boy's death.
There’s no word yet on his cause of death but the chief said there were no signs of trauma. His body was taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, Dixon said.
"This is obviously not the conclusion we were hoping for. We held out hope against all odds that we were going to find Sarbesh, that we were going to be able to bring this to a successful resolution. Unfortunately, that is not what happened in this case," he said.
FOX 4 photographers captured video of an ambulance arriving at the scene early Wednesday morning. Investigators were later seen taking pictures inside a white SUV with dark tinted windows.
Many people from the Denton community searched, only for the boy’s body to be found one building away from his home.
“It was right next door. So many people were searching for him,” family friend Ganesh Baniya said after a nearly 20-hour search ended in tragedy.
There are now more questions than answers about his death.
“No one will be harder on themselves, than those out there. We had 250 people searching at any one time. Can we say someone checked every vehicle? We can’t say that. Is that reasonable to assume? We have community members out there out of the kindness of their heart. Can we hold them to the expectation to pull every door handle? There will be some questions that we have no answer to and that’s unfortunate,” Chief Dixon added.
Chief Dixon said the vehicle belonged to the neighbor. He did not have any answers about how the 2-year-old got inside or why the vehicle wasn't searched earlier.
"Any unattended death we're going to investigate. Our major crimes unit is investigating, and they're gonna keep doing it. We're gonna keep running with were the evidence takes us," he said.
Sarbesh went missing Tuesday at his apartment complex on West Prairie Street near the University of North Texas campus. His mother told police she was doing something in their apartment, turned around, and he was gone.
The first responding officers did a search of the apartment, but they didn’t find anything. However, they did learn that one of the doors was opened for a short period prior to his disappearance.
Dozens of neighbors helped police search for Sarbesh Tuesday afternoon. The chief thanked those people for their support.
Officers and volunteers scoured fields, storm drains, and residences in the area near the University of North Texas where the little boy lived.
But in the end, the SUV where the toddler was found dead was just two buildings away from his home.
“From our most junior police officer, up to our 35-year veterans, this doesn’t miss touching anyone. We are all human,” Chief Dixon said.
Police said now is not the time to point fingers.
But many who knew the child and his family are asking how was his body so close and not found.
“There were so many of us looking, it was right next door,” Baniya added. “That is the question. How come, it was right there. This area was already sealed.”
“He was like our own children. I have seen him multiple times. This is bringing us so insecurity,” family friend Dili Subedi said.
A family friend told FOX 4 the boy's family moved to Denton from Nepal four years ago so that his father could get his PhD from UNT.