The mother of a missing 5-year-old boy were arrested on Sunday after investigators learned that Elijah Lewis has not been seen for six months — and his family never reported him missing.
Boston.com reports that Elijah’s mother Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend Joseph Strapf, 30, were arrested in New York City on Sunday, three days after the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families notified police on Thursday that Elijah’s whereabouts have been unknown for six months. Elijah is believed to have lived in Merrimack, New Hampshire when he was last seen by “independent individuals.”
Police announced over the weekend that they were searching for Dauphinais and Strapf in relation to the boy’s disappearance. According to Boston.com, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office announced that the couple had been arrested in the Bronx on charges of child endangerment and witness tampering. It is unclear how long the suspects had been in New York City or how authorities located them there.
#Breaking: Danielle Denise Dauphinais and Joseph Stapf were arrested in NY on warrants issued in the investigation of the whereabouts of 5yo Elijah Lewis. Officials say Elijah was not with the two at the time of their arrests. via @TimCalWMUR pic.twitter.com/OyoGKianoc
— WMUR TV (@WMUR9) October 18, 2021
“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,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement obtained by the news outlet. “The endangerment charge alleges that they violated a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah.”
Investigators are continuing to search for the boy after examining a lake near the New Hampshire home where he was last seen. It is unclear if authorities believe the boy is still in New Hampshire, or if any further arrests are expected.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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