MERRIMACK, N.H. (WHDH) - A mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of her 5-year-old son, who hasn’t been seen in six months, authorities announced Monday.
Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and Joseph Stapf, 30, are facing charges including witness tampering and child endangerment, New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella, New Hampshire State Police Colonel Nathan A. Noyes, and Merrimack Police Chief Brian K. Levesque said in a joint press release.
“This has been a nightmare,” neighbor Greg Doppstadt said.
Dauphinais and Stapf were nabbed Sunday in the Bronx by New York City Transit Authority officers.
The couple is accused of asking other people to lie about Elijah Lewis and where he was living, knowing that child protection service workers were searching for the boy, authorities said. They also allegedly violated a duty of care, protection or support for Lewis.
Lewis, whose last known address was in Merrimack, New Hampshire, was reported missing to police by the Division for Children, Youth and Families on Thursday.
Dauphinais and Stapf had been living in Stapf’s mother’s home but they had not been seen or heard from until they were taken into custody.
he Doppstadt said he rarely saw Elijah next door was not sure if he even lived there.
The boy’s father lives in Arizona and has been in touch with investigators.
The two are expected to face a judge Monday in Bronx County Criminal Court. They will be returned to New Hampshire for arraignment in Hillsborough County Superior Court upon waiving formal extradition.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, told 7NEWS: “We are hopeful that Elijah will be found safe and sound; that someone will come forward with information on where he is right now. But we have to look at every possibility.”
Anyone with information on Elijah’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Merrimack Police Department’s Crimeline at 603-424-2424 or New Hampshire State Police Communications at 603-223-4381.
This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.
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