Woman arrested after body of 7-year-old boy found in Denver storage unit

DENVER -- A woman has surrendered in the death of her 7-year-old son whose body was found in a storage unit two days before Christmas, the Denver Police Department said Thursday.

Police received information from the Aurora Police Department on Dec. 23 regarding the missing boy.

Investigating officers were led to a storage unit at 5005 East Evans Avenue, where the body was found.

The boy has not been identified by the Denver Office of the Medical Center, which said the investigation is still pending after an autopsy.

However, two sources confirmed to FOX31 that the boy's name was Caden and his body had been in the storage unit for "a long time."

Police did not previously announce the boy was missing.

APD said no one had contacted the department about a missing child.

Denver Department of Public Safety Records Custodian Mary Dulacki said detectives estimated the boy's date of death as May 24, 2018.

Law enforcement sources said that DNA testing would likely be needed to positively identify the body.

On Wednesday, Elisha Pankey, 43, turned herself in to Denver police. She is being held for investigation of child abuse resulting in death. She was arrested on Dec. 22 by Aurora police for heroin possession at a hotel.

The self-storage complex where Caden was found is located near the interchange of Evans and Interstate 25, which is a few blocks from an apartment building where neighbors say the boy lived with his mother and sister. The property's former manager, Tina Wright, said Pankey stopped paying rent and was evicted in early 2018.

"She changed from a really outgoing person to, like, this hermit that just wanted to stay in her house. And then they got evicted," said Wright.

Anyone with information about Caden or Pankey is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

Police did not previously announce the boy was missing.

On Wednesday, Elisha Pankey, 43, turned herself in to Denver police. She is being held for investigation of child abuse resulting in death. She was arrested on Dec. 22 by Aurora police for heroin possession at a hotel.

Elisha Pankey

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