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Before 5-year-old Elijah Lewis disappeared from his home in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and his body was later discovered in the woods of Massachusetts, his frustrated mother allegedly complained about his behavior, comparing him to serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy in text messages with a childhood friend
“I call him the next Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer,” his mother, Danielle Dauphinais, allegedly wrote to a friend on June 22. “It’s so sad but I have no connection with this child. His father took him at the age of one and never returned him until last May 2020. He’s been getting worse and worse. I want him gone. I can’t handle him anymore.”
The messages between Dauphinais, 35, and Erika Wolfe were sent via Snapchat. Wolfe shared the screenshots with the Boston Globe.
According to the Globe, another friend, Michelle O’Brien, confirmed that Wolfe had previously shared the messages.
Wolfe told the paper that she hadn’t seen Dauphinais in years. In June, Dauphinais responded to a message she'd posted about struggles with her teenage son’s behavioral issues.
Dauphinais allegedly shared her troubles with Elijah, who had been in her care since May of last year, with Wolfe.
Dauphinais told Wolfe that Elijah played with his feces and urinated on clothing and beds, according to the messages. “I have to keep him in his room. I can’t trust him at all. This child is (expletive).”
“Even dcyf [Division for Children Youth and Families] was involved and they told me I can’t do [expletive] without his father’s concent. It’s been a [expletive] nightmare that I can’t wake up from. It’s so damn sad and I’m so sorry you’re going through this too. Ugh why us??? Is it because we were [expletive] as kids and it’s payback? Like I don’t get it,” another alleged message read.
Wolfe said she was shocked by the tone of the comments but assumed Dauphinais was just unloading her frustrations.
“In my mind, I’m thinking DCYF is probably checking in,” Wolfe told the Globe. “I thought, ‘Oh, you’re having a rough time, and probably not the best comment choices, and we all have our days.”
Wolfe said she had forgotten about the messages until the little boy’s disappearance sparked a massive search across five states.
“I remembered those messages,” she said. “And I was like, ‘Oh, no.”
Wolfe shared the messages with a relative of Dauphinais on Oct. 16. She believes they were shown to police, according to the Globe.
An attorney for Dauphinais told the Daily Beast that he planned to “contest the validity” of the texts until the telephone company proves they are authentic.
No charges have been filed in connection with Elijah’s death, and his cause of death has not been determined.
Dauphinais and her boyfriend, Joseph Stapf, are in jail and have pleaded not guilty to witness tampering and child endangerment charges.
Elijah was reported missing by the New Hampshire Division for Children Youth and Families on Oct. 14. His body was discovered in Abington, Massachusetts about 10 days later.
By all accounts, he had a brief but turbulent life. He was rarely seen by neighbors and never enrolled in the Merrimack public school system, the Globe reported
Elijah is the fourth of Dauphinais’s six children.
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