North Carolina authorities are trying to determine what happened after a toddler was found dead outside a home early Wednesday morning in Burke County.
Police said they were called to the home around 7:45 a.m. and found a 3-year-old boy dead on the porch.
Investigators think the boy, who had turned three the day before, wandered outside sometime during the night and died after being exposed to the freezing conditions for too long.
Wind-chill values in the High Country were below zero overnight.
Deputies said when they got to the home the front door was open and the mother was still asleep inside, unaware her son had gotten outside.
The name of the child has not been released and deputies closed the road near the home for hours while they and the Department of Social Services investigated.