Danielle Denise Dauphinais & Joseph Stapf New Hampshire couple arrested in relation to missing Merrimack mother’s 5 year old son, Elijah Lewis last seen 6 months ago.
New York City transit police arrested a New Hampshire couple in relation to the disappearance of a 5-year-old Merrimack boy last seen six months ago over the weekend as the search for the missing boy now continues.
Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, identified as the missing child’s mother and Joseph Stapf, 30, were booked with witness tampering and child endangerment for allegedly telling others to lie about where her son Elijah Lewis was living as child protection services tried to find him, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office announced. The endangerment charge alleged the mother and her boyfriend violating a duty of care, protection, or support for Elijah.
Although Elijah, or Eli, hasn’t been seen in six months, he was only reported missing to New Hampshire child services and local cops on Thursday, the AG reported. Of note, neither the boy’s mother or her boyfriend reported the boy missing.
‘The Merrimack Police Department immediately began an investigation, and was assisted later that day by the New Hampshire State Police and the New Hampshire Department of Justice,’ a news release from the AG said.
‘Elijah was never reported missing to authorities prior to this time.’
Fears for the worse
Authorities put out a call for the public’s health to find Dauphinais and Stapf at that time, and cops caught up with them in the Bronx on Sunday, the AG’s office said. The office declined to say how they came to be aware of the fugitive couple being in NYC.
The state of New Hampshire has sought the couple’s extradition. If they choose to waive formal extradition, they will be returned to New Hampshire for arraignment in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District later this week Patch reported.
Come Monday, the search for the missing child continued with police dogs seen at the New Hampshire home Dauphinais and Stapf shared, WBZ-TV Boston reported. Investigators looked in the woods and around a pond in the area, according to the station.
‘We’re trying to find Elijah,’ assistant AG Benjamin Agati told WBZ. ‘We hope we’re going to find him in good condition. But I would be less than honest if I didn’t say that the chances of that are not looking good at this point.’
Authorities said they do not believe Elijah’s disappearance is a case of the child running away from home.
Agati was asked about other children, including a recently newborn that the arrested couple may have and he said all the other children have been accounted for and are safe.
The missing boy’s biological father lives in Arizona and is cooperating.