DENVER (AP) — Detectives believe a 7- year-old boy found dead in a Denver storage system simply before Christmas last attended school in late May, a police spokesperson said Friday.
Sgt. John White said detectives are focused on what happened to the young boy between then and Dec. 23, when cops found his body inside the storage facility after getting details from cops in neighboring Aurora.
A female believed to be the kid’s mom, 43- year-old Elisha Pankey,
turned herself in to police on Wednesday
. She is being held on investigation of kid abuse resulting in death.
“Investigators are working tough to figure out exactly what happened and when,” White said. “We are very, extremely concerned about this and any incident when the most susceptible members of our community ended up being victims. It’s just a terrible situation.”
Online court records do not list an attorney for Pankey, and she has not been formally charged yet. The court document laying out the reasons for her arrest is sealed.
Authorities have not verified the young boy’s name or released info about when or how he passed away, however Denver authorities spokesperson Sonny Jackson validated to Denver7 on Friday that the last day the kid was known to be alive was Might 24, while he was still in school. The last day of classes throughout the Denver Public School District was Might 31, significance the kid had missed out on the last week of school.
According to 2018 murder data tracked by Denver’s Public Safety Department, a 7- year-old boy named Caden McWilliams was the victim of a murder in late Might at 5005 E. Evans Ave., the same address of the storage facility where Denver Police reported finding the body.
White stated Friday that he could not verify the details and stated the Denver medical inspector’s office will be the agency to release the kid’s identification.
According to Denver Public Schools, McWilliams went to Ellis Elementary School.
In a written statement, the school’s principal Nichole Whiteman said Caden McWilliams “was a design student who was not afraid to do the right thing just because it was the right thing to do.”
“He stood out from others from the minute he strolled through the school doors every morning with a substantial smile on his face,” Whiteman stated. “His smile and eyes revealed how kind and sweet he was at the core. Other students wanted to be his friend and looked to Caden for what to do next.”
District spokesman Will Jones said student privacy laws avoided him from launching any details about the kid’s school attendance. He likewise said the district does not want to interfere with the authorities investigation.
Police have not launched any information about exactly when the young boy was identified to be missing. But Denver Cops first became involved when Aurora Authorities called them on Dec. 23 with details about a missing boy.
Aurora officers had arrested Elisha Pankey the previous day on suspicion of heroin belongings. According to a court record filed by the Aurora Authorities, officers came into contact with Pankey while examining a missing child and discovered the drugs in a hotel room where she had stayed.
Aurora Police spokesperson Sgt. Costs Hummel stated Friday that he might not remark on that missing out on child case.
Pankey’s husband, Leland Pankey, appeared in court Friday on charges that he strangled his spouse in 2017 after implicating her of spying on him with electronic devices.
An arrest affidavit in the assault case was dated November 28, 2017. The 39- year-old was apprehended Dec. 21, more than a year later.