The mother of a missing 5-year-old boy from New Hampshire and a man she was with have been arrested in the ongoing investigation into the child's disappearance, authorities said Monday.
The New Hampshire Division for Children Youth and Families had notified police on Thursday that Elijah Lewis was missing. The agency’s involvement with the boy is unclear, but state police said he was last seen by “independent individuals” about six months ago and was never reported missing to authorities before last week.
The boy's mother, Danielle Dauphinais, and a man she was with, Joseph Stapf, were arrested Sunday by New York Transit Authority officers in the Bronx on warrants charging them with witness tampering and child endangerment, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said.
The witness tampering charges allege Dauphinais and Stapf each asked other people to lie about Elijah and where he was living, knowing that child protection service workers were searching for him. The endangerment charge alleges that they violated a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah.
Dauphinais and Stapf were set to be arraigned in the Bronx County Criminal Court in New York City Monday afternoon. Authorities were seeking to have them extradited to New Hampshire. If they agreed to waive formal extradition, they were expected to be arraigned in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua this week.
It wasn’t immediately known if Dauphinais or Stapf had lawyers to speak for them, and phone numbers could not be found for them. They were being held in New York.
Authorities said they were continuing to search for Elijah and sought the public's assistance in locating him.
Police used boats to search Naticook Lake behind a property in Merrimack, New Hampshire, over the weekend. The waterfront property was Elijah's last known location and home.
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The home was an active crime scene again on Monday, with a large section of the street blocked off and officers posted outside the home.
"Everybody in the neighborhood has been doing all they can to try to help with this," neighbor Gregory Doppstadt said.
He said investigators had knocked on his door to ask if he'd seen anything unusual at the home next door. He told them the last time he saw the boy, about a year ago, he had concerns.
"He was a very, very thin kid. He looked a little — my first thought was, 'I got to make this kid a sandwich.' He was really thin. You just wanted to feed him," Doppstadt said.
Anyone with information about Elijah's whereabouts is asked to contact the Merrimack Police Crimeline at 603-424-2424 or New Hampshire State Police Communications at 603-223-4381 or 603-MCU-TIPS.