Mother indicted in death of 5-year-old son Elijah Lewis

The mother of 5-year-old Elijah Lewis was indicted in the death of her son Elijah who was found dead by state police on October 23 in Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts.

By Amanda Watts, CNN

(CNN) -- The mother of 5-year-old Elijah Lewis, who was found dead in Massachusetts last year, has been indicted on charges that include first-degree murder, court records show.

Danielle Dauphinais, 35, was indicted in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District of New Hampshire, on "one count of first-degree murder for purposely causing the death of Elijah Lewis; one count of second-degree murder for causing the death of Elijah Lewis recklessly with extreme indifference to the value of human life; and three counts of tampering with witnesses," according to a statement from the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

In October 2021, Elijah's disappearance was reported to authorities by New Hampshire's Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Though he hadn't been seen for six months, he wasn't reported missing, officials said at the time.

Elijah's body was found by state police on October 23, 2021, in Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Massachusetts.

According to the indictment, a grand jury found that "Danielle Dauphinais did recklessly cause the death of Elijah Lewis, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life," adding that she "manifested exceptional cruelty or depravity in inflicting death on Elijah Lewis." The indictment alleges that the murder occurred sometime between September 27, 2020, and September 24, 2021.

In the three witness tampering charges, the indictment alleges that Dauphinais attempted to induce multiple people "with force and arms" from giving accurate information about Elijah to child protective services.

CNN reached out to the attorney for Dauphinais but did not immediately hear back.

In October, Dauphinais and her boyfriend were arrested on charges of child endangerment and witness tampering. Both pleaded not guilty.

Dauphinais remains in custody without bail, according to the AG's office.

An arraignment will be held in Hillsborough County Superior Court, but no date has been set, a court communications officer told CNN. The next proceeding, which was previously scheduled, is set for June 28.

The-CNN-Wire
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