elijah lewis

‘I Hate What Happened': Reaction as Body Found in Search for Elijah Lewis

"I don't like to think my sister would hurt her own child," Elijah's uncle said of the boy's mother, Danielle Dauphinais, who's been arrested on charges in his disappearance

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Randy Stewart, the uncle of Elijah Lewis, also said he doesn’t hate his sister; he hates the situation and what happened.

A small memorial was set up in Abington, Massachusetts, Saturday, hours after the body of a child was found nearby.

Investigators believe it is the body of 5-year-old Elijah Lewis, who authorities in New Hampshire had been searching for since Oct. 14. A vigil is planned for the boy's hometown of Merrimack Sunday night.

Randy Stewart, Elijah's uncle, said Saturday that he feels "a small sense of relief knowing he's not out there suffering. He's in a better place now."

Elijah's mother, Danielle Dauphinais, is in jail along with her boyfriend on charges tied to the boy's disappearance.

The body was found in the woods near a remote stretch of Chestnut Street Saturday morning, officials said. A police trooper saw disturbed ground about 250 yards from Chestnut Street, and the body was found there.

They have pleaded not guilty to charges of child endangerment and witness tampering, after being accused of telling people to lie about Elijah's whereabouts.

So far nobody is charged in connection with his death.

"I don't like to think my sister would hurt her own child," Stewart said.

An autopsy of the body is scheduled to take place Sunday. Along with confirming its identity, it will give investigators a lot more information about what exactly happened, which may allow prosecutors to bring new charges in Elijah's case.

Prosecutors from New Hampshire and Massachusetts didn't share many details about the still-active investigation at a news conference Saturday, beyond what they discovered in Abington.

"He was found covered with soil. A New Hampshire cadaver dog located the remains in a grave," said Susan Morrell, a New Hampshire senior assistant attorney general.

The body was found in a wooded area of Abington, but how the child ended up there and what happened to him leading up to his death are still a mystery.
Elijah hadn't been seen in about a month before he was reported missing last week.

A cadaver dog discovered a body in a grave presumed to be that of missing New Hampshire boy Elijah Lewis during a search in the woods in Abington, Massachusetts, prosecutors from both states said at a news conference.

He lived about 70 miles away in Merrimack, New Hampshire. It's unknown how long the body had been in the Abington woods, as part of an effort that brought in law enforcement from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

"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 dignity," Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said.

Investigators have not said how they knew to search in Abington, but noted that surveillance video and phone records were very helpful in this case.

Elijah's uncle said the family is grieving -- carving a pumpkin as a tribute to the child as one way to cope with their emotions.

"I don't hate my sister, I love my sister," Stewart said. "I hate the situation, I hate what happened."