Human remains found in a Massachusetts state park have been identified as belonging to missing New Hampshire 5 year old Elijah Lewis.
Upon finding the human remains in Ames Nowell State Park near Abington after an extensive search, authorities from both Massachusetts and New Hampshire were already sure that the body belonged to Lewis, who had been missing for quite some time.
Official identification came later, through comparing dental records after an autopsy.
A candlelight vigil was held in Elijah’s hometown of Merrimack the day after the body was found.
Elijah’s mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend Joseph Stapf, 30, were arrested in New York in connection with the child’s disappearance. They were charged with child endangerment and witness tampering after police discovered that they had asked several people to lie about Elijah and where the boy was living.
New Hampshire’s senior assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell has stated that authorities will continue to investigate the case while they wait for a toxicology report from the medical examiner, noting that the process may take weeks to months.
“We’re going to be waiting for a period time to get detailed results from the medical examiner,” she said. “The investigators are still pursuing a number of investigative leads in trying to determine how Elijah ended up where we found him. It’s kind of a waiting game at this point.”
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu also spoke out about the case, thanking those who had worked to find Elijah.
“Horrific tragedies like this often spur countless hours of dedication by so many,” the governor said. “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. May Elijah rest in peace.”