Elijah Lewis

When I see a face like this on a missing poster it brings me back to the Caylee Anthony Case. The innocent smile tugs your heart and you wonder what could have happened to such a sweet little one. I can’t for the life of me understand why these cases always end up with the most heartbreaking endings usually at the hands of people these children should have been able to trust to love them and care for them… certainly trust them not to murder them. Unfortunately, in this case, this is not how things unfolded.

Elijah Easton Lewis was born in Mesa, Arizona on January 7, 2016. A fourth child to his mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais, also called “Dee” and the third child born to his father, Timothy Lewis. Danielle would have a total of 6 children.

I first came to be aware of this case when news broke that Elijah Lewis, age 5 was missing on October 14, 2021. Right away the story did not make sense – was he just missing? Was he missing a month? Was he missing 6 months? No one seems to know.. His mother was in a relationship with a man named Joseph “Jo” Stafp and they reportedly just had a newborn child that she dropped off at the hospital because she was unable to care for the child.

Surrendering the child led to CPS wanting to check on the status of the other children in the home. Dauphinais had several stories about Elijah’s whereabouts but refused to provide verifiable information. She had had custody for only a little over a year after his father sent him to live with his mother from Arizona on May 27th, 2020 after having custody of the child since he was one. I have not seen information as to why the custody switch occurred especially after court records indicate that Lewis felt that Dauphinais was an “implusive” and “violent” and was aware of her addiction issues. The decision seems to make little sense but I could find no sources with any further information on the father before or after the boy went missing. No public appeals. No interviews, Nothing. It’s also telling that in all of her frustration with Elijah, it’s not mentioned that she tried or intended to try to send him back to live with his father.

Danielle reportedly told friends and family that she was going to send Elijah to California to live with a friend or relative due to his “behavioral issues”, but apparently that never occurred. Dauphinais had previously given up the rights to 3 of her six children, and CPS has custody of the young daughter and newborn but Elijah was the only child that could not be accounted for. A friend of this so called mother indicated that Dauphinais told her that Elijah was “the next Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer” and admitted that she had no emotional connection to him and that she wanted him “gone”. She reportedly said to this friend, Erika Wolfe, that she kept Elijah in his room because she couldn’t trust him anymore.

A large scale search was made for Elijah, including extensive searching of the Sunset Drive property in Merrimack, NH where the family lived. Mom and her boyfriend, feeling the heat, skipped town as they were being pursued by the police for more extensive questioning in this case. The police were concerned quickly that the case was not going to have a happy ending.

A break in the case occurred when youths in Ayer, MA found a cell phone and turning it into authorities. This found provided invaluable information including the location information for where the phone had been and phone information on another phone that was used to track the whereabouts of the rogue parents. Dauphinais and Stapf were arrested in the Bronx on 10/17/21 and charged with child endangerment and witness tampering charges. Both have plead not gulty and they have their next court date scheduled this month. They are being held in jail until that time.

The cell phone location also lead the police to a small park in a rural neighborhood of Abington, MA. Searches of the park with Cadaver dogs lead to the discovery of the body, later identified with dental records as Elijah buried in a shallow grave. Cause of death for the child has not yet been determined however toxicology and more extensive autopsy studies are still being completed. It is expected that the charges will be upgraded in this case but without a certain cause of death it could be difficult to obtain the murder conviction(s) that I personally hope to see in this case.

https://www.doj.nh.gov/news/2021/20211122-elijah-lewis.htm

Case Update #1 11/23/21 The medical examiner has come back with Elijah’s cause of death as violence and extreme neglect. His face and his head showed signs of trauma and his blood contained fentanyl . The saddest part yet is he had bed sores which suggests to me that this was serious, long standing abuse. I am hoping to hear very soon that the charges are upgraded to murder.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/danielle-dauphinais-called-missing-son-elijah-lewis-ted-bundy-and-jeffrey-dahmer

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/24/metro/sunday-prayer-vigil-planned-elijah-eli-lewis-merrimack-nh/

https://www.masslive.com/police-fire/2021/10/elijah-lewis-what-we-know-in-the-case-of-the-missing-5-year-old-boy-found-dead-in-massachusetts-on-saturday.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mom-n-h-boy-missing-6-months-asked-other-people-n1281819

https://www.wmur.com/article/investigation-continues-into-merrimack-boys-death/38058639#

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/10/19/elijah-lewis-danielle-dauphinais-joseph-stapf-missing-charges-family-friend/

http://indepthnh.org/2021/10/24/elijah-lewis-5-identified-by-dental-records-cause-of-death-pending/

Author: murderinne

Exploring local by cases in New England through extensive research and lots of coffee drinking. My opinions are my own. Sources links for more information will be posted with each post. You can email me with case suggestions, comments and just to send love at newenglandcases@gmail.com

5 thoughts on “Elijah Lewis”

  1. So many institutional failures. All departments of social services in every state need to be deconstructed.
    1) By court order never should have resided with mother.
    2) I’ve worked with DD and behavioral clients for over 20 years. This little boy was in trouble. His behaviors indicate a profound psychological/ psychiactric need. Of necessity he should have had every support in place since he first displayed disturbed behavior. He may also have brain damage, damaged pre-natally, most likely, but it could also be idiopathic, or duedependent. How did social services not have supports in place? How were his parents and Elijah not flagged as a very dangerous situation where abuse was likely to occur?
    3) The court should offer the option of jail time or voluntary sterilization to every person who voluntarily gives up their child. Obviously there are exigent circumstances where this would not be warranted, but Elijah’s bio parents should never, ever be allowed to produce, or have the care of ANY dependant.

    Lastly, I want to put in a plea for people to commit to being foster parents or respite providers for one year. If there is absolutely no way one can do this due to already burdened circumstances I understand. But please, please consider it if you’re able to do so, and encourage friends and family to consider it. You really do save lives as foster parents and respite providers.0

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I apologize if I’ve posted this comment twice. I tried to post earlier, but thought I accidentally deleted my comment, so I re- posted.

    Like

    1. Thank you. My typo was that his brain may have been damaged by either parent’s drug use, or his mother’s drug use while he was in utero.

      Like

      1. Maybe, or he could have just been expressing normal boy his age tendencies with parents who did not want the responsibility of taking care of the child. It’s hard to say. There is no excuse for what happened.

        Like

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