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N.H. couple charged in connection with missing 5-year-old waives extradition from New York

A photograph of Elijah Lewis taken in May 2020.NH Attorney General

A New Hampshire woman and her boyfriend, both facing charges in connection with the disappearance of the woman’s 5-year-old son, are expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, authorities said.

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin J. Agati said Tuesday afternoon via e-mail that prosecutors had learned that Danielle Denise Dauphinais, 35, and Joseph Stapf, 30, had waived extradition from New York and were being returned to New Hampshire Tuesday.

Dauphinais and Stapf are both charged with witness tampering and child endangerment in connection with the disappearance of Dauphinais’s son Elijah Lewis, who was formally reported missing last week, authorities have said previously.

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Dauphinais and Stapf were arrested Sunday by New York Transit Police.

“The witness tampering charges allege that they each asked other people to lie about Elijah and where he was living knowing that child protection service workers were searching for Elijah,” New Hampshire prosecutors said in a statement Monday. “The endangerment charge alleges that they violated a duty of care, protection or support for Elijah.”

The couple was apprehended Sunday at 7:13 a.m. in the vicinity of Westchester and Bruckner avenues, with assistance from New York police and Secret Service agents, according to officials in New York.

The search for Elijah continues, and authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding him.

Prosecutors had previously said that the last time a person could independently confirm Elijah was alive was six months ago. But on Tuesday, authorities said they now believed Elijah was last seen at his home sometime within the last 30 days.

The Division for Children, Youth and Families reported him missing last week to Merrimack police. Law enforcement has been searching for the child since then, prosecutors said.

According to New Hampshire authorities, DCYF was involved with the Lewis family before the child protection agency reported the boy missing, but the details of that interaction are not currently the focus of law enforcement — finding the child is.

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Danielle Dauphinais (at left in photo from January 2020) and Joseph Stapf (right, photo taken in 2019) are charged in connection with the disappearance of Dauphinais's 5-year-old son, Elijah Lewis, who was reported missing by the state Division for Children, Youth and Families on Thursday, Oct. 14.New Hampshire Attorney General's office

WMUR-TV reported authorities searched Naticook Lake in the town of Merrimack, N.H., where Elijah was reported to be last living with his mother at a home on Sunset Drive.

On Tuesday, Agati confirmed to the Globe that investigators were again searching the home and the surrounding area.

Authorities asked anyone with information on Elijah’s whereabouts to contact the Merrimack police crime line at 603-424-2424 or New Hampshire State Police Communications at 603-223-4381 or 603-MCU-TIPS (603-628-8477). People can also contact lead investigator Detective Sergeant Kelly Healey directly at Kelly.A.Healey@dos.nh.gov.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.