Father Charged With Murder After Killing Son And Hiding Body In Storage Unit
Photo: Denver District Attorney’s Office

A Colorado father has been officially charged with first-degree murder in the killing od his 7-year-old son. The body of the young boy was found days before Christmas, enclosed in a dog carrier that had been encased with concrete and left in a storage unit.

Leland Pankey appeared in court yesterday to have his charges formally read to him. Fox31 Denver reports that a preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 11. A news release by District Attorney Beth McCann stated that in addition to murder in the first degree, 39-year-old Pankey faces two additional counts of child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased body.

The remains of 7-year-old Caden McWilliams were found after the Aurora Police Department responded to a domestic violence call. Responding officers checked the home and noticed there was a child missing from the home. That’s when the case became a homicide investigation.

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The District Attorney’s office says that on December 23, 2018, upon searching a storage unit, authorities found a block of cement inside of a dog carrier. The next day, the Denver Medical Examiner’s Office removed the remains of a child from the block.

According to CBS4 Denver, a forensic pathologist noted that McWilliams had methamphetamine in his system and had suffered numerous injuries to his head and body. He also looked noticeably thin and malnourished. Although an exact cause of death has not been named, maltreatment has been confirmed as a contributing factor.

In January, the child’s mother Elisha Pankey was charged with child abuse in connection to his death and abuse of a corpse.