Who killed Elijah Lewis? Body of boy, 5, found buried in Massachusetts wooded area
ABINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS: The remains of 5-year-old Elijah Lewis was recovered in Abington by Massachusetts and New Hampshire authorities on Saturday, Ocober 23, Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruiz confirmed. Several hours of a manhunt was underway to find the missing New Hampshire boy between Friday evening (October 22) and Saturday morning (October 23), after authorities learnt some new information about his disappearance. His body was found in a "wooded area off of Chesnut Street."
"This morning, state police, a cadaver dog and special emergency response team members located what is presumed to be Elijah's body buried in the ground," Cruiz said during a press conference. "I'm not going to get into the specifics of the crime scene or the manner in which this boy's body was found at this time." The investigation into the boy's death is now ongoing and active.
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Authorities were notified about the disappearance of Lewis by the New Hampshire Division for Youth, Children and Families (DYCF) on October 14, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella's office said. Reportedly, the child was last seen as many as six months ago. Before the body was found, officers with the New York City Transit Authority arrested Lewis' mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend Joseph Stapf, 30, on witness tampering and child endangerment charges in New York City on October 14, the Formella's office said in a news release. Aware of the fact that child protection services were searching for Lewis, the duo allegedly asked people to lie about where the boy was living. "Elijah was never reported missing to authorities prior to this time," the attorney general's office said.
"On October 17, officers of the New York City Transit Authority in the Bronx, New York, located and then arrested Danielle Denise Dauphinais, age 35, and Joseph Stapf, age 30, on warrants issued in this investigation in New Hampshire charging them with Witness Tampering and Child Endangerment. The witness tampering charges allege that they each asked other people to lie about Elijah and where he was living knowing that child protection service workers were searching for Elijah. The endangerment charge alleges that they violated a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah," the news release said.
"Dauphinais and Stapf will be arraigned in the Bronx County Criminal Court located at 215 East 161st Street in New York City, New York, at 12.30 pm today. The State of New Hampshire has sought their extradition. If they choose to waive formal extradition, they will be returned to New Hampshire for arraignment in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District later this week," it added.
Authorities have urged people with information about this case to contact the Merrimack Police Department's Crimeline at (603) 424-2424 or the New Hampshire State Police Communications at (603) 223-4381 or (603) 628-8477.