Mother of NH boy found dead in Mass. state park charged with murder

The mother of a 5-year-old Merrimack boy whose body was found buried in a Massachusetts park last year has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder. A grand jury returned an indictment on Friday charging Danielle Dauphinais, 35, with one count of first-degree murder for purposely causing the death of Elijah Lewis and one count of second-degree murder for causing the death of Elijah Lewis recklessly with extreme indifference to the value of human life. She was also charged with three counts of tampering with witnesses. Dauphinais and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, were previously charged with witness tampering and child endangerment. Dauphinais has been held without bail on the earlier charges. Elijah was first reported missing on Oct. 14, 2021, and police said he had not been seen for about a month before he was reported missing. Ten days later, a New Hampshire cadaver dog located remains in a grave covered in soil at Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts. Dauphinais and Stapf were arrested in New York days before Elijah’s remains were found.This is a developing story. It will be updated as more information comes in.

The mother of a 5-year-old Merrimack boy whose body was found buried in a Massachusetts park last year has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.

A grand jury returned an indictment on Friday charging Danielle Dauphinais, 35, with one count of first-degree murder for purposely causing the death of Elijah Lewis and one count of second-degree murder for causing the death of Elijah Lewis recklessly with extreme indifference to the value of human life.

She was also charged with three counts of tampering with witnesses.

Dauphinais and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, were previously charged with witness tamping and child endangerment. Dauphinais has been held without bail on the earlier charges.

Elijah was first reported missing on Oct. 14, 2021, and police said he had not been seen for about a month before he was reported missing. Ten days later, a New Hampshire cadaver dog located remains in a grave covered in soil at Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts.

Dauphinais and Stapf were arrested in New York days before Elijah’s remains were found.

This is a developing story. It will be updated as more information comes in.

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