DENVER (CBS4) – A mother accused of killing her little boy and hiding his body in a storage unit in Denver appeared in court Wednesday. Elisha Pankey, mother of Caden McWilliams, was formally charged with child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse.

(credit: Denver Police)

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The 7-year-old’s body was found in December 2018, more than six months after he disappeared.

Caden McWilliams (credit: Facebook)

The body of Caden McWilliams was found in a storage unit at 5005 E. Evans Ave. just before Christmas, according to the Denver Police Department.

(credit: Sebastian Hernandez)

Police records list his date of death as May 24, 2018. No alert about a missing endangered child was ever issued.

A memorial to the little boy has emerged at the fence surrounding the storage units.

(credit: CBS)

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Pankey, 43, turned herself in to Denver police on Jan. 2. In court, the judge granted an order of protection for Pankey’s other son, Camden, and appointed a legal guardian for him.

Investigators have not released the cause of death or manner of death.

Court records show Pankey was arrested for possession of heroin on Dec. 22, the day before the body was found.

Caden McWilliams (credit: Martha McWilliams/Facebook)

McWilliams’ father, Leland Pankey, is currently in jail. Court records show he was arrested in November 2017 after allegedly choking his wife until she lost consciousness. According to the affidavit, two children were home during the alleged attack.

Elisha Pankey is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 29.

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Police are asking anyone with information regarding Pankey or her 7-year-old son to please contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).