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Death of Elijah Lewis, 5, ruled homicide; autopsy cites violence, fentanyl intoxication

Elijah's mother and her boyfriend are being held without bail on charges of witness tampering and child endangerment.

Elijah Lewis, the 5-year-old New Hampshire boy whose body was found buried in the woods nine days after he disappeared last month, died from violence, neglect and acute fentanyl intoxication, an autopsy determoned.

Elijah Lewis.New Hampshire Justice Department

Elijah was reported missing Oct. 14 by the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families. His body was discovered buried in the woods in Abington, Massachusetts, on Oct. 23.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office released his autopsy results Monday. 

The manner of death was ruled a homicide, and the cause of death was a mix of violence and neglect, including facial and scalp injuries, malnourishment and pressure ulcers, the autopsy found. 

Elijah’s mother, Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, 30, remain held without bail on charges of witness tampering and child endangerment. 

They were arrested in New York City and pleaded not guilty last month.

New Hampshire prosecutors alleged in a statement that the two asked people to lie about Elijah’s whereabouts and violated “a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah.”

“I didn’t think it was this bad, no. I didn’t want it to be this bad,” Elijah’s uncle Randy Stewart told NBC Boston about the autopsy results. “You just kind of hope it was peaceful and not so barbaric, but that’s just not the case.”

No one has been charged with causing Elijah’s death. Prosecutors had said they would wait for the autopsy results before they proceed with charges.

The investigation continues, the attorney general's office said.