Elijah Lewis, a deceased New Hampshire boy whose mother allegedly compared him to Ted Bundy, died from homicide, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 5-year-old Elijah was found dead in a Massachusetts park last month, about 90 minutes from his home in New Hampshire. A state police cadaver dog found the boy’s body in Abington on October 23, which is around about 20 miles south of Boston.
He was believed to have been missing since early September, and his mother, Danielle Dauphinais, did not report him missing. It is not clear who initially filed the missing persons report, as the Daily Beast reports.
On Monday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office announced that Elijah’s died from violence, neglect, “facial and scalp injuries, acute fentanyl intoxication, malnourishment, and pressure ulcers.”
Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend Joseph Stapf, 30, have been arrested on charges of witness tampering and child endangerment. No one has yet been charged with the boy’s death. Both suspects remain behind bars without bail.
The Boston Globe obtained text messages from a friend of Dauphinais, Erika Wolfe, who said the mother contacted her on Snapchat in June, in response to a post that Wolfe had made about her teenager. Wolfe reportedly said that she had not been in direct contact with Dauphinais for years prior to that exchange.
“It’s so sad but I have no connection with this child,” Dauphinais reportedly said in the message exchange, complaining about Elijah’s behavior. “I call him the next Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer,” she wrote, referring to the notorious serial killers.
According to the Daily Beast, Elijah’s father sent the boy, one of Dauphinais’ six children, to live with his mother in May 2020, despite a previous custody battle that banned Dauphinais from contact with the boy.
According to court records obtained by the Boston Globe, Elijah’s father alleged that Dauphinais had “a history of domestic violence and substance abuse,” and claimed that she exhibited “violent and impulsive” behavior.
Dauphinais reportedly told her friend that Elijah urinated on a bed and played with his own feces.
“He’s been getting worse and worse,” the mother claimed in a Snapchat message. “I want him gone. I can’t handle it anymore … “It’s like a [expletive] nightmare that I can’t wake up from.”
Wolfe reportedly said she sent the text messages to a relative of Dauphinais,’ who claimed to have sent the messages to authorities.
Dauphinais’ attorney questioned the authenticity of the message exchange, according to the Daily Beast, and said that he would seek to confirm their validity.
“I didn’t think it was this bad, no, I didn’t want it to be this bad,” Randy Stewart, Elijah’s uncle, told NBC Boston. “You just kind of hope it was peaceful, and not so barbaric, but that’s just not the case.”
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[Feature Photo: Elijah Lewis/Handout]
*Additional reporting provided by Ellen Killoran*