November 27, 2021

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Live: Update from investigators searching for missing Merrimack boy – WMUR Manchester

10 min read

Remains found in Massachusetts park believed to be Elijah Lewis, investigators say

Elijah Lewis, 5, hadn’t been seen for weeks

sure. Okay, good afternoon everybody. My name’s tim cruise on the Plymouth County D. A. With me today is a massachusetts State police Colonel chris mason. Lieutenant colonel scott Washington. The state police lieutenant frank Walsh from the state police unit assigned to the D. A. S office. We also have with us new Hampshire state Police major john Marasco, merrimack, new Hampshire chief brian Leveque, uh, Abington Police chief, David del papa and new Hampshire Assistant Attorney General. Susan morrow is also present. And I want to thank everybody for coming out today. And, uh, for this matter, uh, as you all know, in massachusetts, State Police, New Hampshire State Police along the Advocate police have been searching these woods for the last day or so, uh, this morning. Uh, state Police, uh, cadaver dog and MSP special Emergency Response team members located was presumed to be Elijah Lewis’s body buried in the ground. I’m not going to get into the specifics of the crime scene or in the manner in which his boy’s body was found at this time. Uh, this once again remains an active and ongoing investigation. Uh, it’s just beginning right now, uh, we’re gonna turn our efforts to getting justice for this little boy and I’m not gonna say anything at this point that might jeopardize justice for you. I um, I commend all the investigators, all the troopers, all the offices from new Hampshire from massachusetts Rhode island. The joint work together was really tremendous. They worked really hard to find this little boy until they did find them. Um, on thursday in our office has been contacted about credible information that led to this wooded area off the Chestnut Street. Colonel Mason sent many assets here uh to this scene. We’re very grateful for that effort uh to make sure that we could find this little boy. Uh the office of the chief medical examiner arrived on scene a little while back and they’ve left the scene. Since then, the crime scene services are still processing the scene. The medical examiner will make a determination of the exact manner and cause the death of eli. Um At this point, no one has been charged with this matter. Uh Obviously that’s gonna be part of the work that’s gonna have to go back and forth and work together to make sure we can come to a resolution. Uh Like I said, this investigation is early, it’s ongoing. Uh And we need to go with the facts, take us and where the event occurred and what the next step maybe obviously a little boy is gone on. Nobody deserved to die this way. And we need to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure we can get justice for this little boy. So, once again, I want to thank all the troopers uh from both states that worked really hard and coming to a resolution for this. And this is the beginning of the uh the investigation at this point, I’ll turn over briefly to Colonel Mason and then to the new Hampshire Assistant G colonel. Give us some sort. Mhm. Thank you today. Our thoughts are with the lives, family and the entire Merrimack community. I’m glad and relieved that we were able to bring some closure to this part of the ongoing investigation and most importantly help bring eli home with some some dignity. My heartfelt thanks to the many investigators and prosecutors that have worked tirelessly on this case and still have a lot of work to do on this case. Um I was really impressed with the resources that were brought to bear on this case. They were brought in from across New England. And I want to extend a personal thanks to all the state police colonels and all the troopers that came to Abington to assist the massachusetts State Police and the new Hampshire State Police with this investigation. I really appreciate their partnership and their commitment of resources. I also want to personally thank the many members of the MSP team that couldn’t be prouder of the work that they’ve done. The dedication. They showed um we brought a number of assets as you know to this uh this case including our air wing are cert team, our canine, our crime scene services section, our lab personnel that we’re at scene today, the drone unit, the cars unit that we’re mapping the scene today. Uh I’d also like the other like to thank the other state agencies DCR the office of the chief medical examiner, the environmental police all having some role in this uh recovery and the ongoing investigation. So I’m very happy that we’ve gotten to this point. It’s a sad day but I’m relieved that we were at least able to advance the case to this point and at this point I’ll turn it over to to the attorney general from New Hampshire. Thank you girl. I’m Susan moral, I’m a senior assistant attorney general in new Hampshire and um assigned to this case to this investigation um in new Hampshire. So I’m gonna echo all of the thanks that have already been made. Um It’s amazing the extraordinary effort that has been put into this case um to have such a successful result in terms of finding Elijah Lewis’s body. Um We appreciate it. We in New Hampshire law enforcement appreciate everybody’s help um and the communities caring and the community’s help in in finding Elijah bringing being able to bring him home and put him to rest. Um as you know, this case um is related to charges that were brought against Danielle Delfini and joseph staff earlier this week in New Hampshire for child endangerment and witness tampering going forward. What will happen is an autopsy will be performed tomorrow here in massachusetts at the chief medical examiner’s office and once we have a determination of cause and manner of death. We’ll be examining all of our facts that we’ve gathered in the investigation and determining what if any further charges will be brought. Um we are very saddened about this situation about Elijah’s death and the fact that he was disposed of down here in the woods where our sympathies go out to his family and friends of the family and to the community, um who’s mourning his death. And um we do appreciate all of the help from the community we put out um press releases starting last thursday trying to find Elijah and we had a robust response to that and we truly appreciate that. So, um I want to say the new Hampshire state Police major crime unit began this investigation on october 14th just a little less than 10 days ago. They’ve been working around the clock with all of their um sister agencies in New Hampshire in this attempt and in including the maine state police. Um and we couldn’t have done it without the dedicated efforts of our law enforcement community in New Hampshire. So I’ll take a few questions if there are some, but you know, I’m not gonna comment on any facts in the investigation. Can’t comment on how we got here or what evidence that we have that brought us to this point. Do you expect to charge anyone other than dolphins and staff in regards to this case. The investigation is very active ongoing and it’s impossible to say who will be charged or won’t be charged in this matter. Are you a little proud friday was on how long my body may have been in this area as we go forward. Eventually, I couldn’t tell you when exactly, but eventually that will be made known. Yes, Cruz, Do you think this would be a homicide investigation in this county in massachusetts? Well, like, like Susan just said, I mean, this is, it’s premature to make a determination regarding if it’s a homicide or whatever crimes may come from it. As I always say, and let’s go through the evidence, let us do our job and we’ll make determinations that we go forward with that. And then then you can assess as to what exactly is going to be. And uh, I, I would just say this, I would say that basically, I believe that, uh, I’m confident that whoever is responsible will, if anyone would be held accountable. So his body was found buried in the dirt as opposed to water because I know there’s lots of water in there. Yes. He was found covered with um, soil and um, a new Hampshire cadaver dog located the remains, um, in a, in a grave. Was it on commercial development or on the side? I don’t know the specific location. It’s nearby. It’s nearby in the park. Uh, it’s nearby where we are not exactly sure of the specifics. That’s weird. Uh, National Park is hands and Club opens. How can you have a bit more on the communication forensics on how that phone was found King and really kind of let you where we are today? Not much, but as everybody knows, um law enforcement uses um surveillance, video and phone records extensively in their um investigations, and that was also done in this case. And it was it was very helpful so I can leave it at that. More details will come out later. There are reports that a confession and we cannot cannot comment on any information. People have provided us, whether they have or they have not. I think that’s almost that’s about all we can tell you. Thanks everybody. Thank you. Thank you.

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Remains found in Massachusetts park believed to be Elijah Lewis, investigators say

Elijah Lewis, 5, hadn’t been seen for weeks

New Hampshire and Massachusetts investigators said they found remains believed to be a missing Merrimack boy in a 1 p.m. press conference Saturday. A New Hampshire cadaver dog located remains in a grave covered in soil at Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts. An autopsy will be conducted Sunday from the Massachusetts chief medical examiner. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office said they are still investigating the remains.Authorities searched the park on Friday for Elijah Lewis, 5. The park search involved officers on foot and on helicopters. Governor Chris Sununu said in a statement “horrific tragedies like this often spur countless hours of dedication by so many.” “On behalf of the people of New Hampshire, I would like to thank New Hampshire and Massachusetts law enforcement and everyone else involved for their tireless focus this past week on bringing closure to this search,” Sununu said. “May Elijah rest in peace.”New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said investigators are saddened about “the fact that he was disposed of down here in the woods.””Our sympathies go out to his family and friends of the family and to the community who is mourning his death,” Morrell said. New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati said Friday night they believe Elijah is dead. “We do have a belief at this time that Elijah is deceased,” Agati said.Investigators on Friday were also in Randolph, Massachusetts, which is 15 minutes outside of Abington. They did not say why they were there. Elijah was first reported missing on Oct. 14, and police said he has not been seen for weeks.Elijah’s mother, Danielle Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30, were arrested in New York earlier this week. Both have pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and witness tampering charges. A vigil for Elijah is planned for 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Watson Park in Merrimack.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts investigators said they found remains believed to be a missing Merrimack boy in a 1 p.m. press conference Saturday.

A New Hampshire cadaver dog located remains in a grave covered in soil at Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts.

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An autopsy will be conducted Sunday from the Massachusetts chief medical examiner. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office said they are still investigating the remains.

Authorities searched the park on Friday for Elijah Lewis, 5. The park search involved officers on foot and on helicopters.

Governor Chris Sununu said in a statement “horrific tragedies like this often spur countless hours of dedication by so many.”

“On behalf of the people of New Hampshire, I would like to thank New Hampshire and Massachusetts law enforcement and everyone else involved for their tireless focus this past week on bringing closure to this search,” Sununu said. “May Elijah rest in peace.”

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said investigators are saddened about “the fact that he was disposed of down here in the woods.”

“Our sympathies go out to his family and friends of the family and to the community who is mourning his death,” Morrell said.

New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati said Friday night they believe Elijah is dead.

“We do have a belief at this time that Elijah is deceased,” Agati said.

Investigators on Friday were also in Randolph, Massachusetts, which is 15 minutes outside of Abington. They did not say why they were there.

Elijah was first reported missing on Oct. 14, and police said he has not been seen for weeks.

Elijah’s mother, Danielle Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30, were arrested in New York earlier this week. Both have pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and witness tampering charges.

A vigil for Elijah is planned for 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Watson Park in Merrimack.

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