The autopsy outcomes also raise new questions about text messages sent by the boy’s mother, Danielle Dauphinais, 35, who is currently being held without bail in New Hampshire along with her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30. In the January texts sent to a friend and acquired by the World, Dauphinais said she argued with Stapf’s mother for giving Elijah also a great deal meals, indicating “this little one will consume till he pukes.” Stapf’s mother, according to Dauphinais’s text, stated it was “child abuse” to withhold food from a child.

Reached Monday, Dauphinais’s lawyer, Jaye Rancourt, declined to remark on the messages, expressing that “without verification that this is essentially a textual content information from my client, I cannot really react. This could be a complete fabrication.”

The texts match a comprehensive description of the messages supplied by the person who at first acquired them.

Thoughts about the situations of Elijah’s death have only developed given that his system was found in the woods of Abington, Mass., on Oct. 23, following a 10-working day lookup that integrated regulation enforcement organizations from at minimum five states. Considering the fact that then, authorities have introduced small in the way of specifics as they go on to investigate. In the meantime, relations and individuals who lived close to the child’s dwelling in Merrimack say they seldom noticed the boy in the months top up to his disappearance.

The Massachusetts medical examiner’s office last thirty day period dominated the boy’s dying a murder, determining the result in to be “violence and neglect, which include facial and scalp injuries, acute fentanyl intoxication, malnourishment and stress ulcers.” Pressure ulcers, more normally referred to as bedsores, are normally found in bedridden folks unable to modify posture.

But neither Dauphinais nor Stapf has been billed with murder. As an alternative, they are currently being held on charges of boy or girl endangerment and witness tampering linked to their alleged tries to mislead investigators hoping to ascertain the boy’s whereabouts in October. The two have pleaded not responsible.

It continues to be unclear how included New Hampshire’s Division for Youngsters, Youth and Households was with the boy prior to his disappearance. The agency has declined to remark on the case, however authorities have explained that DCYF initially noted the boy missing to legislation enforcement on Oct. 14, and Dauphinais instructed a close friend very last June that she’d been in make contact with with the company.

Texts sent by Dauphinais to a further friend and acquired by the World make it obvious that she experienced severe considerations about her son, including the amount of money he ate, at least 9 months ahead of the boy was found missing.

In a text to a close friend on Jan. 7, Dauphinais complained that Stapf’s mom, Joanne — with whom the pair shared a property — was feeding the boy towards her wishes. Dauphinais explained Joanne Stapf would also “baby him and appreciate on him” even when Elijah acted up.

“I created Elijah a good plate of meals and she insisted on offering him seconds,” Dauphinais wrote in a January textual content. “I explained to her no for the reason that this kid will eat until he pukes and then try to eat some much more. I also informed her that he’s owning cake just after so there is no need for seconds.”

“She mentioned I was mistaken and that was baby abuse,” Dauphinais continued. “She claimed that she’s an Italian grandma and that she considers this child abuse in her family. Like wtf!”

According to two medical professionals who spoke with the Globe, the two of whom specialize in circumstances of boy or girl abuse or neglect, the information outlined in the autopsy report paint a significantly grim photo. Though neither is included with the circumstance or privy to circumstance information, the two described the autopsy findings to be severe, even in just the realm of neglect conditions.

“This is not like an every day point,” explained Dr. Suzanne Haney, a Nebraska-dependent boy or girl abuse pediatrician who serves as the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Little one Abuse and Neglect. “This excessive of a situation, fortunately, is very unusual.”

Both medical professionals explained the bedsores, in specific, as extremely irregular in a developmentally usual little one. The distressing, circular lesions are almost never ever noticed in younger, bodily cell people, leading them to think that Elijah could have been restrained in some way prior to his death.

“Skin breakdown or bedsores is not something you’d ever see in a healthful 5-calendar year-previous,” reported Newton. “That, to me, speaks to being tied down . . . or [being] so weak or malnourished that he was not able to shift at the close of his lifetime.”

Added Haney, “If you blend malnourishment and pressure ulcers, I’m pondering he was possibly restrained or his malnourishment was to the point where by . . . he was unconscious or semiconscious for a period of time.”

Both condition would’ve been a pink flag to physicians, claimed Newton — but it is unclear no matter if Dauphinais ever took Elijah to see a health practitioner in New Hampshire.

Born in Arizona in 2016, the boy invested substantially of his early lifetime in the custody of his father following his parents’ contentious 2017 divorce. In divorce paperwork, Timothy Lewis accused Dauphinais of becoming “violent and impulsive” and obtaining a “history of domestic violence and compound abuse.” A decree authorized by the court docket blocked Dauphinais from paying time with her son.

Past May well, however, for unclear factors, Elijah arrived in New Hampshire to reside with Dauphinais and her boyfriend, Stapf.

Nevertheless originally thrilled by her son’s arrival, Dauphinais, two pals reported, shortly grew to become exasperated by what she described as the boy’s myriad behavioral troubles. In texts to a pal previous summer time, Dauphinais likened her son to a serial killer, saying she felt no connection to the boy or girl and that she wished him “gone.”

1 friend, Michelle O’Brien, who has known Dauphinais considering that both were being young adults, informed the World she’d supplied the name of a pediatrician to Dauphinais, but did not know whether or not she at any time followed up on it.

The workplace of New Hampshire Lawyer Standard John M. Formella, which is dealing with the circumstance, has declined to release records of earlier police visits to the household that Dauphinais and Stapf shared, although neighbors reported police ended up a widespread presence at the residence, which backs up to a silent lake.

New Hampshire Agent Kimberly Rice, who chairs the Home committee on kids and family members regulation, acknowledged that the state’s little one welfare agency has suffered from staffing issues that have remaining it hamstrung.

“I never imagine they are performing a negative position at DCYF,” said Rice. “We have positions that require to be loaded that are funded, but the persons are not there, and if the people today are not there, I never know how you keep on to hold an company accountable when you just cannot get the positions crammed.”

As the criminal circumstance moves ahead, meanwhile, Moira O’Neill, director of the New Hampshire Business of the Boy or girl Advocate, reported her office environment would be opening an investigation into the conditions encompassing Elijah’s demise.

Appointed by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu in 2018, O’Neill offers oversight of the state’s boy or girl protection products and services, as effectively as “holding methods accountable,” according to the condition site.

But with a smaller place of work currently engaged in other cases, she cautioned that the course of action could get up to a yr to total.

“If what is reported in the newspapers is proper,” O’Neill explained, “it does sound as however this was a preventable demise.”


Dugan Arnett can be attained at [email protected]