Why was this 5-year-old kid never reported missing?
Six months ago, five-year-old Elijah Lewis was last seen near his home and is currently missing and nowhere to be found. According to WBZChannel 4 News CBS Boston, the Department of Children, Youth and their Families opened a case with Elijah’s mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais, for dropping off her newborn baby at a local hospital.
This led DCYF to visit their home to find that Elijah Lewis was missing. There are several accounts from friends & family in which Elijah had not been seen for an extended period of time. Records show there are no missing child reports issued before October 14th. This raised suspicion as to why the child’s whereabouts went unnoticed for so long.
Merrimack home crime scene
In an interview with NBCBoston News, a neighbor by the name of Gregory Doppstadt stated that he saw and spoke to the boy a year ago. Doppstadt described him as appearing malnourished and unhealthy. “He was a very, very thin kid. My first thought was, ‘I got to make this kid a sandwich.’ He was really thin. You just wanted to feed him”
The neighbor’s concerns about the young child’s well-being were sparked during this encounter and is now willing to assist the police in Elijah’s search in any way possible. The last time Elijah Lewis was seen by individual witnesses was on Sunset Blvd in Merrimack, New Hampshire near his home. The location is now considered an active crime scene.
Mother Under Arrest
Officials have arrested Lewis’ mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais thirty-five years old, & her boyfriend Joseph Stapf, thirty years old, in New York for witness tampering & child endangerment.
They have been brought back to New Hampshire to await a court date but are suspected to be responsible for the disappearance of the child. Elijah Lewis’ father lives in Arizona and has been cooperative in the investigation. He’s not a suspect at this time.
Hope for the best, search for the worst
Assistant Attorney General, Ben Acati, has stated that both Dauphinais & Stapf have asked several people to lie about Elijah Lewis and his location to intentionally mislead child services. As a result, Acati believes that the child’s safety is at stake.
Authorities hope for the best but are also mindful that the ongoing missing kid search may result in homicide. The majority of efforts are currently being utilized to search Naticook Lake near the boy’s home, as well as parts of New England.
A happy, energetic, silly boy
WBZChannel 4 News CBS Boston interviewed a family friend, MJ, who is quoted saying that she hadn’t communicated with Dauphinais since January. Dauphinais told MJ that Elijah would be living with relatives in California.
MJ explained, “Danielle had stated she couldn’t provide care for him due to behavioral problems that he was having.” MJ continues to say, “[He is] a happy, energetic, silly boy.”
It’s clear that the surrounding community and loved ones want Elijah Lewis to be found alive & safe. Danielle Denise Dauphinais has a total of six kids. All of Elijah’s siblings are safe and accounted for.