The mother of Elijah Lewis, a 5-year-old New Hampshire boy who has been missing for six months, was arrested in New York City on Sunday.
Danielle Dauphinais, 35, and the man who was with her, Joseph Stapf, 30, were both arrested and charged with witness tampering and child endangerment, according to the New Hampshire Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to the New Hampshire DOJ, Dauphinais and Stapf allegedly asked people to lie about Lewis and where he was living knowing that Child Protective Services were searching for the boy. Additionally, the New Hampshire DOJ alleges the two violated the duty of care, protection or support for Elijah. (RELATED: Mom Charged With Murder After Reporting 6-Year-Old Missing, Police Say)
Dauphinais and Stapf were arraigned in the Bronx County Criminal Court on Tuesday. But the State of New Hampshire has sought their extradition, so should the two waive extradition, they will be returned to New Hampshire and arraigned later this week, stated the NH DOJ.
Lewis hasn’t been seen for six months, and was only reported missing on Thursday, New Hampshire authorities said.
“Elijah was last seen by independent individuals approximately six months ago […] [His] unknown whereabouts were brought to the attention of authorities by DCYF yesterday, October 14, 2021. […] Elijah was never reported missing to authorities prior to this time,” stated the press release.
— Mike Cronin Jr. (@MikeCroninWMUR) October 16, 2021
New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Agati said in an interview with WMUR 9 that they were searching the immediate area for evidence of where Elijah is.
“We are searching throughout New England to try and find where he is,” said Agati.
“We can’t make the assumption that he is necessarily very close by. He may be, he may not. We hope that he is safe, and we’re really hoping that anybody who is there with him will be calling in and letting us know where he is and how he got to where he is.” (RELATED: Sheriff Rescues Missing 13-Year Old Girl From Motel Room)
The New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol unit sent a boat to search the lake behind Elijah’s home in Merrimack, NH, according to WMUR 9.