Woman who encased her dead son in concrete told fellow inmate he died months before discovery

A 7-year-old boy whose body was found stuffed into a pet carrier that had been encased in concrete and stashed in a storage unit died last July, months before the grisly December discovery of his corpse, according to information in a newly unsealed affidavit.

His mother, Elisha Pankey, 43, has been charged with child abuse resulting in death, and with abuse of a corpse. She revealed the details to a fellow inmate while they were jailed on drug charges before the grisly discovery, the Associated Press reported.

The dog crate is where Caden MacWilliams died, crying for water and overheated in the blanket-swathed carrier. Investigators found his body on Dec. 23 inside a storage unit and arrested Pankey on Jan. 2, according to the Denver Post.

The new information came to light in an affidavit that police made public on Tuesday. In it, police detailed how a conversation with a fellow inmate, who she roomed with while briefly jailed on drug charges in December, led to the discovery of Caden’s body .

Police had initially arrested Pankey on drug charges, and she was jailed for a few days with another woman, the Denver Post said. After their release they roomed together for a few more days. During that time, Pankey told the woman that her son was missing and that she and her husband, Leland Pankey, would force Caden into the dog crate and make him stay there. On one night in July, she told the unnamed woman, they had left him there, the carrier covered in blankets, as he cried and called for water.

In the morning he was dead, and the couple disposed of the body.

When Caden was found months later, his body was decomposed. He was malnourished, weighed 27 pounds and had several broken bones, authorities told the Denver Post. Traces of cocaine and meth were in his liver.

Her husband, the boy’s stepfather, was already in jail on drug charges and has not been officially charged in the boy’s death. Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler would not tell the Denver Post whether charges would be filed.

Elisha Pankey has not entered a plea, the AP said, and will reappear in court on April 2.

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