Five-year-old Elijah Lewis had fentanyl in his body and died of abuse and neglect, autopsy says

Elijah Lewis, the 5-year-old New Hampshire boy found dead in late October in Abington, Massachusetts, had fentanyl in his body at the time of his death, prosecutors said, citing the Massachusetts medical examiner’s findings. The medical examiner determined that the boy died by violent means and ruled that his death was homicide.

New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella’s office confirmed the autopsy findings in a statement.

Elijah, who was first reported missing on October 14, was searched for several days, and his disappearance led to the arrest on October 17 of his mother Danielle D. Dauphinais, 35 , and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30. At New York.

The couple face charges of endangering children and tampering with witnesses in connection with the case, and they both pleaded not guilty to the charges last month in a New Hampshire court. They are being held without bail. Authorities said Lewis was last seen at his Sunset Drive home in Merrimack, NH, in September.

“The Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined that Elijah’s death was a homicide,” the Formella office said in Monday’s statement. “Elijah’s cause of death was determined to be violence and neglect, including facial and scalp injuries, acute fentanyl poisoning, malnutrition and pressure sores. “

Formella’s office said that “Elijah’s unknown whereabouts were brought to the attention of authorities by the DCYF on Thursday, October 14, 2021. The Merrimack Police Department immediately opened an investigation and was further assisted. late in the day by New Hampshire State Police and the New Hampshire Department. of Justice. Elijah had not been reported missing to authorities before that date.

The investigation into Elijah’s death is still ongoing.

“Anyone with information on Elijah’s death is urged to contact the Merrimack Police Department at (603) 424-2424 or New Hampshire State Police Communications at (603) 223-4381 or 603-MCU-TIPS (603-628-8477), ”the Formella office said. “Detective Senior Investigative Sergeant Kelly Healey, Major Crime Unit, can be contacted directly at [email protected]

Material from earlier Globe stories has been used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @TAGlobe. Dugan Arnett can be contacted at [email protected]

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