‘I Have No Connection with This Child’: Inside Mom’s Disturbing Statements Before Elijah Lewis’ Death

Danielle Dauphinais, now accused of her 5-year-old son’s m**der, a-llegedly wrote to a friend on Snapchat, ‘I want him gone’

The m**der charge filed this week against a New Hampshire mom alleging she k*lled her 5-year-old son — whom she a-llegedly described as “the next Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer” — cap a six-month investigation that began when authorities first reported the boy missing.

But the child, Elijah Lewis, may have disappeared as much as six months earlier, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office.

Elijah’s buried remains were discovered on Oct. 23 in a wooded area near Ames Nowell State Park in Abington, Mass., by a state police cadaver dog, six days after his mother Danielle Dauphinais was stopped and a-rrested in New York City, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said at a news conference.

Last June, according to the Boston Globe, Dauphinais a-llegedly wrote on Snapchat to a friend, Erika Wolfe, “I call him the next Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer.”

She a-llegedly added, “It’s so sad but I have no connection with this child. His father took him at the age of one and never returned him until last May 2020. He’s been getting worse and worse. I want him gone. I can’t handle it anymore.”

On Monday, Dauphinais, 35, was indicted on one count of first-degree m**der for “purposely causing” Elijah’s death; one count of second-degree m**der for causing his death “recklessly with extreme indifference to the value of human life”; and three counts of tampering with witnesses, New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella announced.

She previously was charged with witness tampering and child endang*rment, and has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Dauphinais has not yet entered a formal plea to the new charges and is being without bail, with a later arraignment to take place in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District, in Nashua.

An attorney for Dauphinais, Jaye Rancourt, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

But in October, Rancourt told PEOPLE that she could not then comment on her client’s a-lleged Snapchat characterization of her son.

“I’ve been provided no information to verify the veracity of these [Snapchat] messages or where they came from,” Rancourt told PEOPLE at the time. “They very well could have been created by [Dauphinais’ friend Wolfe] for all I know. So until there’s documentation that demonstrates that my client actually sent the messages, it’s very hard for me to respond.”

Before finding the boy’s remains, police had been searching the woods for Elijah, who was missing to police on Oct. 14 by the New Hampshire State Department of Children, Youth and Families, according to WHDH.

Autopsy results released in November said the boy died by h*micide caused by neglect, malnourishment, fentanyl po*soning and v*olence revealed by facial and scalp injuries.

Investigators initially said they believed that Elijah, whose last known address was in Merrimack, was last seen at his home sometime in the month before the state agency reported him missing.

At the time of his reported disappearance, Elijah was living with his mother and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30. But neighbors told the Globe they rarely saw the child outside, and a Merrimack School District official said Elijah was never enrolled.

Stapf was a-rrested along with Dauphinais, and he also is being held without bail on charges of witness tampering and child endang*rment after the pair’s Oct. 17 arrest in New York City, said the attorney general’s office.

“The witness tampering charges a-llege that they each asked other people to lie about Elijah and where he was living knowing that child protection service workers were searching for Elijah,” according to authorities. “The endang*rment charge a-lleges that they violated a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah.”

Stapf has pleaded not gui*ty to the charges. He has not been charged in connection with the child’s h*micide.

Friend Remembers Ha*nting Comments

Dauphinais’ friend Erika Wolfe — who received the a-lleged Snapchat messages — told the Globe that she and Dauphinais grew up together but had not been in contact for years. The two a-llegedly exchanged messages briefly in June when Dauphinais randomly replied to one of Wolfe’s Snapchat messages about her experience with her own son.

Dauphinais a-llegedly described to Wolfe her son’s behavior and said, “I have to keep him in his room,” adding, “I can’t trust him at all.”

Dauphinais also a-llegedly revealed on Snapchat that the state’s child welfare agency was involved but could do nothing without the consent of Elijah’s father, calling the situation “a [expletive] nightmare that I can’t wake up from.”

“In my mind, I’m thinking [New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families] is probably checking in,” Wolfe told the Globe. “I thought, ‘Oh, you’re having a rough time, and probably not the best comment choices, and we all have our days.'”

After the exchange, Wolfe forgot about the messages until she heard the news of Elijiah’s disappearance.

“I remembered those messages,” she recalled. “And I was like, ‘Oh, no.'”

If you suspect child a*use, call the Childhelp National Child A*use Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

Source: people.com

Cassidy Campbell

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