Drugs, Violence Led to Death of 6-Year-Old NH Boy Elijah Lewis
Elijah Lewis, the 6-year-old Merrimack boy who was missing for months before he was reported to police died of violence and neglect, according to his autopsy.
The boy was last seen in April but not reported missing until Oct. 14 setting off a search for Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and boyfriend Joseph Stapf, 30. They were located in the Bronx and extradited to New Hampshire.
Lewis' body was found at Ames Norwell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts on Oct. 23. A New Hampshire cadaver dog made the discovery of the body.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Massachusetts has determined that the cause of Elijah’s death was violence and neglect, including facial and scalp injuries, acute fentanyl intoxication, malnourishment and pressure ulcers. The manner of death was homicide.
Dauphinais and Stapf are still being held without bail on charges of witness tampering and child endangerment. Additional charges are dependent on what actions took place in what state, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.
Police also searched a pond in the back of Stapf's mother's house before moving the search to Massachusetts.
Anyone with information about Elijah’s death is asked to contact the Merrimack Police Department’s Crimeline at 603-424-2424 or New Hampshire State Police Communications at 603-223-4381.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH