Friday, October 7, 2022

Mother of 5-year-old Elijah Lewis charged with his murder

The mother of a 5-year-old New Hampshire boy who was found dead in a wooded area in Massachusetts has been charged with his murder, prosecutors said Monday.

Danielle Dauphinais was indicted by a grand jury Friday on two murder charges “for purposely causing the death” of her son Elijah Lewis, whose body was discovered in October two weeks after he was reported missing, according to the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

An autopsy revealed Elijah had fentanyl in his system and succumbed to “violence and neglect,” authorities said, including “facial and scalp injuries, malnourishment and pressure ulcers.”

The 35-year-old mother and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30, were arrested in New York City on Oct. 18 on charges of witness tampering and child endangerment after they allegedly asked others to lie about Elijah’s whereabouts because they knew child protection workers were searching for him.

Dauphinais was also indicted on three counts of witness tampering, officials said.

She will continue to be held without bail with a court hearing to be set for a later date.

Elijah Lewis had fentanyl in his system and succumbed to “violence and neglect, according to authorities.

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