‘Dad’ faces first-degree murder charges after 7-year-old son’s remains found encased in concrete-filled dog crate: DA

Authorities in Colorado say a man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his 7-year-old son after brutally abusing the child.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Caden McWilliams was found dead inside a storage unit in Denver late last year.

His mother, 43-year-old Elisha Pankey, was arrested on murder charges a short time later.

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Caden is believed to have died months earlier, but authorities became aware of the missing child on December 21 and found his remains two days later.

His young body had been encased inside a block of concrete found within a dog crate, as reported by Fox News.

The victim’s mother claimed that her husband had been physically abusive with Caden after the family moved into an area hotel in May 2018. She further said the boy’s father kept him in a dog cage for “a few days” prior to his death, which is believed to have been in mid-July 2019.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office released a statement this week confirming that the boy’s father, 39-year-old Leland Pankey, was charged on Thursday with criminal counts including murder in the first degree, child abuse resulting in a death, and tampering with a deceased person.

“What began as a domestic violence call to the Aurora Police Department rapidly evolved into a homicide investigation because responding officers cared enough to ensure the involved children were safe,” said District Attorney Beth McCann. “We have now implicated both parents in this truly horrific crime.”

Elisha Pankey is set to appear in court again next month.

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[Featured image: Denver District Attorney via AP]