DENVER (CBS4) – New details were revealed in the tragic death of a 7-year-old boy in Denver on Monday. Caden McWilliams’ body was found encased in cement in a storage unit in December.
His mother, Elisha Pankey, is accused of his death.
An arrest affidavit states Pankey and her husband, Leland Pankey, put Caden in an animal crate in July of 2018 and covered it with blankets. The boy cried saying he was hot and thirsty, but neither tended to him.
According to a woman who spent time in jail with Elisha, the boy’s mother then woke up the next morning to find the boy dead inside the crate. The couple then took the crate, with Caden inside, and bought industrial strength trash bags and concrete mix.
Elisha and Leland then drove to the storage unit and covered the crate with the plastic bags. Caden’s body was inside encased in concrete, documents state.
Detectives say they found water bottles and concrete mix dust on the floor. When investigating, two cadaver dogs alerted to the crate.
Earlier this month, a report by the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner stated the body was malnourished and had numerous injuries to the “head, trunk and extremities.” It also stated the body may have also suffered from asphyxia and dehydration. Experts say the body tested positive for methamphetamine.
Caden was unenrolled from Denver Public Schools on Sept. 7, 2018. The family told the Department of Human Services that they planned to home-school Caden.
The arrest affidavit details previous abuse between Elisha and Leland Pankey. In one instance, Elisha says Leland nearly killed her sometime before Halloween.
She then called police to report the incident on Dec. 17, 2018.
After about 10 days of investigation, police arrested Leland for the alleged domestic violence incident and later arrested Elisha for Child Abuse Resulting in Death.
A preliminary hearing for Elisha is scheduled for April 2.