Dad of boy found in Denver storage unit charged with murder


DENVER (AP) — Colorado prosecutors on Thursday charged the father of a 7-year-old boy whose body was found encased in concrete inside a Denver storage unit with murder.

The Denver district attorney’s office also charged Leland Pankey, 39, with child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a dead body. He is serving a state prison sentence on unrelated charges, and it was not clear Thursday if he has an attorney to comment on the newly filed charges in the death of his son, Caden McWilliams.

Court records also released Thursday indicate that the boy’s mother cooperated with investigators as she faces charges of child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse in his death. The records say Pankey and her attorneys met with investigators in March, about two months after she was charged.

The records says Elisha Pankey told police that the family moved into a hotel at the end of May 2018 and she knew her husband physically abused Caden and was not feeding the boy. Elisha Pankey also told police that her husband kept their son in a dog kennel “a few days” before he died in mid-July.

Previously released court records said Elisha Pankey told a fellow inmate that they kept the boy in the carrier overnight despite his cries of being thirsty and hot. Pankey said the boy was dead one morning and she believed he had suffocated, those records state.

'A Significant Development': Judge Deals a Blow to Fani Willis, Rules Nathan Wade's Divorce Attorney Must Take the Stand

The woman, who is not identified in the court records, told police that Pankey said she and her husband took the boy’s body — still inside the animal carrier —to the storage unit, poured concrete over him and wrapped the carrier in plastic trash bags.

Authorities did not find McWilliams’ body until December as they investigated Elisha Pankey’s allegations of domestic violence against Leland Pankey. An autopsy found signs that McWilliams was severely emaciated and evidence of injuries to his head, chest and limbs, some of which showed signs of healing.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann called the young boy’s death a “truly horrific crime.”

“This case has been painstaking and painful for all involved,” McCann said in a statement.

Leland Pankey is due in court on June 27.

Elisha Pankey is due back in court on Tuesday. She is represented by the state public defenders’ office, which bars its attorneys from commenting on individual cases.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City