Mother of Elijah Lewis, N.H. boy found dead in Mass., indicted on murder charges

Lewis was last seen at his home in Merrimack, NH, within a month of his disappearance which was reported on Oct. 14, 2021, authorities have said.

Dauphinais “continues to be held without bail,” the statement said. “An arrangement will be scheduled in Hillsborough County Superior Court – Southern District in Nashua.”

Jaye L. Rancourt, a lawyer for Dauphinais, said via email that her client denies wrongdoing.

“My client maintains her innocence in regards to these recent allegations,” Rancourt wrote.

The indictment in the case alleges Dauphinais “manifested exceptional cruelty or depravity in inflicting death on Elijah Lewis.” The document doesn’t specify how she allegedly killed her son, though it asserts that she “did purposefully” cause his death between Sept. 27, 2020 and Sept. 24, 2021.

The indictment also alleges that on or around Oct. 14, the same day Elijah was reported missing, Dauphinais asked two people identified as Bruce Scherzer and Tracy Dauphinais, to tell child protective service workers that the boy was with them, “when in fact he was not.”

In addition, the indictment alleges Danielle Dauphinais also told a woman identified as Joanne Stapf not to talk to child welfare officials about Elijah. Danielle Dauphinais’s boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, has been charged with child endangerment and witness tampering in connection with the case.

Just four months before Elijah’s death, Dauphinais allegedly told a friend that she could no longer control the boy, compared him to serial killers, and said she wanted him “gone.”

Danielle Dauphinais, 35, allegedly complained to a childhood friend about text messages that Elijah Lewis, the fourth of her six children, had become unruly and untenable, according to screenshots of the conversation previously reviewed by the Globe.

“I call him the next Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer,” Dauphinais wrote. “It’s so sad but I have no connection with this child.”

“He’s been getting worse and worse,” Dauphinais added of her son, whose remains were found in Abington, Mass. on Oct. 23 following a frantic, 10-day search by law enforcement across at least five states.

The frank messages offered a disturbing glimpse into the final months of Elijah’s short and turbulent life, in which he was passed between parents in Arizona and New Hampshire and cared for by adults with a host of criminal and personal struggles.

The messages, sent through the Snapchat app between Dauphinais and Erika Wolfe, were shared with the Globe by Wolfe, who has known Dauphinais since both were teenagers in New Hampshire. Another friend of Dauphinais’s, Michelle O’Brien, confirmed that Wolfe had previously shared the messages.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe

Leave a Comment