Mother arrested over disappearance of 5-year old thought to have been missing for 6 months

Elijah Lewis is thought to have been missing for six months

Helen Elfer
Wednesday 20 October 2021 14:05
<p>Missing boy Elijah Lewis</p>

Missing boy Elijah Lewis

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The mother of a missing 5-year-old has been arrested along with a man and accused of covering up the boy’s disappearance.

Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and Joseph Stapf, 30, are charged with witness tampering and child endangerment, according to authorities

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella’s office said in a statement last week that 5-year-old Elijah Lewis had been reported missing on October 14, but he is thought to have disappeared 6 months ago.

“Elijah was never reported missing to authorities prior to this time,” but “was last seen by independent individuals approximately six months ago,” a statement said.

Ms Dauphinais and Mr Stapf have been accused of asking “other people to lie about Elijah and where he was living knowing that child protection service workers were searching for Elijah,” and violating “a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah,”  said prosecutors.

New York City Transit Authority officers arrested the pair in the Bronx, and they will be extradited to New Hampshire, reported NBC News.

Police are continuing to hunt for Elijah, and searched a New Hampshire property during the weekend, reported NBC Boston.

“Everybody in the neighborhood has been doing all they can to try to help with this," neighbour Gregory Doppstadt told the station. He said he had informed investigators that he had last seen Elijah a year ago, and had been concerned for his well-being.

“He was a very, very thin kid ... my first thought was, ‘I got to make this kid a sandwich.’ He was really thin. You just wanted to feed him,” Mr Doppstadt said.

The Merrimack Police Department, New Hampshire State Police and New Hampshire Department of Justice are asking for anyone with knowledge of Elijah’s whereabouts to contact them.

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