NEW YORK - A 5-year-old boy found dead in Massachusetts had fentanyl in his system and died from violence and neglect, authorities said.
The death of Elijah Lewis was ruled a homicide after an autopsy.
"The cause of Elijah’s death was determined to be violence and neglect, including facial and scalp injuries, acute fentanyl intoxication, malnourishment and pressure ulcers," the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office announced in a statement.
Elijah’s mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30, remain held without bail on witness tampering and child endangerment charges. They were arrested in the Bronx last month.
Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and Joseph Stapf, 30, were arrested Sunday in the Bronx. (New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office )
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 him. The endangerment charge alleges that they violated a duty of care, protection, or support for Elijah.
Elijah’s unknown whereabouts were brought to the attention of authorities on October 14, 2021. The Merrimack Police Department immediately began an investigation and was assisted later that day by the New Hampshire State Police and the New Hampshire Department of Justice.
Elijah Lewis had not been reported missing and had not been seen for months.
His body was found in October in a wooded area in Abington, Massachusetts.
The New Hampshire Attorney General Office said the mother of Elijah Lewis and another man were arrested.