The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner has released an autopsy report for a 7-year-old boy who was found encased in concrete inside a storage unit late last year.
Caden McWilliams was found dead on Dec. 23, 2018 in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue. Denver homicide records indicate that police believe McWilliams could have been in the storage unit as early as May 2018.
The boy’s mother, 43-year-old Elisha Pankey, has been charged with child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse in the case.
Even though the autopsy is complete, no official cause of death could be determined. Medical examiners were, however, able to say child maltreatment was a contributing factor in his death. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.
"The postmortem examination reveals severe emaciation of the body consistent with a malnourished or deprived state," the reports says. "Numerous injuries of the head, trunk, and extremities are also noted, some of which show evidence of healing."
The report goes on to say that McWilliams may have also suffered from asphyxia, dehydration and hyperthermia. There was also a cocaine metabolite and methamphetamine in liver tissue detected during the autopsy.
“Given the highly suspicious nature to this death, the findings of the postmortem examination, and that the decedent is a young child who is dependent on others for his care, the manner of death is homicide,” the report says.
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