Mother allegedly called her five-year-old the ‘next Ted Bundy’ before he vanished

Elijah Lewis’s body was found in the woods four months after his mother sent the messages

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 16 November 2021 23:19
<p>Elijah Lewis, the five-year-old son of Danielle Dauphinais, who compared the boy to serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer four months before his body was found in the woods</p>

Elijah Lewis, the five-year-old son of Danielle Dauphinais, who compared the boy to serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer four months before his body was found in the woods

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A mother in New Hampshire sent her friend a text comparing her five-year-old son to the prolific serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer months before the boys body was found in the woods.

"I want him gone," the woman, Danielle Dauphinais, allegedly wrote to her friend, according to The Boston Globe. The recipient of the texts, Ms Dauphinais' friend Erika Wolfe, shared the messages with the paper.

According to Ms Wolfe, she had not spoken with her friend in several years, but Ms Dauphinais reached out to sympathise over a post Ms Wolfe had made on Snapchat complaining about her teenager's attitude.

“I call him the next Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer,” Ms Dauphinais wrote about her five-year-old son Elijah Lewis. “It’s so sad but I have no connection with this child.”

Ms Dauphinais told Ms Wolfe that she had been keeping Elijah in his room because she could not "trust him anymore," and suggested the boy would play in his own faeces and urinate on his clothes and bed.

“He’s been getting worse and worse,” she told Ms Wolfe. “I want him gone. I can’t handle it anymore.”

She described life with her son as a "nightmare that I can't wake up from."

The boy had been living with his mother for less than a year. Before moving in with his mother, he had lived with his father, but was sent away for reasons that are still unclear. According to the newspaper, Elijah's father had previously called his ex-wife "violent and impulsive" and claimed she had "a history of domestic violence and substance abuse."

New Hampshire authorities began searching for Elijah on 14 October, though his mother had not reported him missing prior to that date.

Law enforcement searched five states for the boy, eventually discovering his body in the woods in Massachusetts on 23 October. Days prior, on 17 October, Ms Dauphinais and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, were arrested and charged 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,” local authorities said in a statement on 17 October. “The endangerment charge alleges that they violated a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah.”

Ms Wolfe said she forgot about the messages until she saw news reports that Elijah was missing. She then sent the texts to a relative a day before Ms Dauphinais' arrest. The family member reportedly forwarded the texts to the police. According to Ms Wolfe, she was never questioned about the messages.

Ms Dauphinais and Mr Stapf have pleaded not guilty, and have not been charged with the murder of or in connection with Elijah's death. The boy's cause of death has yet to be determined.

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