Father of Denver boy found encased in
concrete pleads guilty to Child Abuse;
murder charge dropped
DENVER, CO – The father of a 7-year-old Denver boy found encased in concrete in 2018 has pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge in the case, in exchange for prosecutors dropping the murder charge against him.
Leland Pankey, 40, was charged with murder in Caden McWilliams’ death in May. In a hearing on Thursday, he pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased human body.
The murder charge was dropped in the deal. Pankey now faces up to 72 years in prison.
“This agreement provides justice for Caden while ensuring that Mr. Pankey will serve a significant amount of time behind bars,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a news release Thursday. “This is one of the most horrific cases ever handled by the Denver DA’s Office and we were acutely concerned about re-traumatizing Caden’s family as well as the jury, judge and everyone else involved should this case proceed to trial.”
Pankey is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 28.
The body of McWilliams was found encased in concrete in a storage unit in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue in Denver on Dec. 23, 2018.
McWilliams’ mother, Elisha Pankey, also pleaded guilty in August to one count of child abuse resulting in death.
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner ruled in a report in March that Caden had been malnourished and had cocaine metabolite and methamphetamine in his system. The boy also had numerous injuries to his head, torso and extremities, according to the autopsy. He may have suffered from asphyxia, dehydration or hyperthermia, but that couldn’t be confirmed, the autopsy said.
In an interview with police in March, Elisha Pankey told investigators that Leland Pankey abused Caden while they were living in an extended-stay hotel, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The couple and their two children had moved into the hotel in May 2018, and Leland Pankey watched the children while Elisha Pankey went to work, she told investigators.
Elisha Pankey said Caden died in July 2018 after his father kept him in a dog kennel, the affidavit said. A woman who had been in the Arapahoe County Jail with Elisha Pankey in December said Pankey told her that she believed her son suffocated in the dog kennel.
Leland Pankey kept Caden in the kennel overnight – with blankets on top of it – and the boy cried out that he was hot and thirsty, Elisha Pankey told her fellow inmate, according to the affidavit.
On the day Caden died, his mother and father bought Quikrete, trash bags and water, drove Caden’s body to the storage unit on Evans Avenue, and mixed the concrete and poured it into the kennel, the affidavit said.
The boy’s body wasn’t discovered until December, when officers responded to a domestic violence call involving the Pankeys.
Police learned that the couple had two children, and Elisha Pankey told officers that the children were with their father. When police contacted Leland Pankey, he said one child was in daycare, but he avoided answering questions about Caden, eventually telling officers the boy was with his mother, the affidavit said.
When officers interviewed a woman whose name was redacted in the affidavit, she told police that Leland Pankey had lost his son and that Pankey said her family could have their storage “because it had too many memories,” the affidavit said.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the Pankeys’ storage unit and found Caden’s remains inside.
Day care owner charged with Child
Abuse after allegedly hiding 26 children
behind false wall
Colorado Springs, CO – Earlier this week, Colorado Springs, Colorado, day care owner Carla Faith, 58, was charged with child abuse and attempt to influence a public servant after 26 toddlers were found behind a false wall at Faith’s day care facility last month.
The day care attached as a secondary building from Faith’s home underwent a welfare check on Nov. 13 when authorities came across two adults and more than 20 children under the age of three. The search began after a series of complaints that Faith “was housing more children in their care than their licensed allowed,” the City of Colorado Springs said in a statement.
Colorado Springs officer Janel Langdon-Issac discovered the children and two adults in the basement of Faith’s home after hearing children’s music, despite Faith denying of having a lower ground floor, according to ABC affiliate KRDO.
During the search, Officer Jordan Parker bumped into a wall and felt it move, KRDO reported. When Officer Parker pushed against the wall, authorities discovered a stairwell leading to a finished basement area.
“I spend a minute or two in my car with a tear in my eye because I’m trusting somebody else,” said Ethan Steinberg, an uncle of an enrolled child, in an interview with KRDO. “ It took about an hour until [police] realized where the kids were and that breaks my heart because I don’t know if my niece was down there.”
KRDO also reports that Faith was caught in a similar situation during the late ’90s but in California.
“It’s just not something that’s part of our application process, nor do we really have the authority to require that information,” said Erin Mewhinney, the Division Director Of Early Childhood Care and Learning, in an interview with KRDO. “We’re working with the state board of human services to allow the department the authority to require child abuse and neglect records from other states of an applicant is coming in from another state.”
Faith’s day care license only permitted her to care for up to six children between the ages of zero and 13, more specifically, only two of these children could be under the age of two, according to an affidavit obtained by KRDO.
“It’s so hard to trust your children with people and we felt we could really trust them,” said parent Jeanette Conde to KRDO. “ I’m completely betrayed, every parent that I’ve talked to, we all feel completely betrayed.”
I didn’t remember the name, but I remembered that he walked out a free man.
I have a file just for people like him… he wasn’t there.
Finally I went to the site media folder…
* I am only publishing as little as possible of this case
On October 23, 2015, Cole County Missouri Judge Patricia Joyce sided with the defense, saying Aaron Fisher’s constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated. He was freed from jail on Monday, October 26, 2015 and the case was dismissed.
Appeals Court Will Not Reconsider Rape, Sodomy Case Against Aaron Fisher December 21, 2016
Will Justice Be Served This Time? Aaron Fisher Headed To Trial For Assault On Infant Daughter February 24, 2017
Last Attempt At Justice Prevails: Aaron
Fisher Sentenced To 15 Years For Assaulting
His Infant Daughter
LACLEDE COUNTY, MO – The notorious case against Aaron Fisher has finally come to an end.
On Friday, January 19, 2018 at the Laclede County Courthouse, Fisher pleaded guilty to 1st degree Assault and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Was this justice for the crimes Aaron Michael Fisher committed? To be totally honest, I believe nothing short of public hanging on the town square will stop crimes like this and most particularly the taking of innocent lives, which I believe is the only definition of a hate crime.
I want everyone to know that there is more to this Child’s Justice, this Child and her sibling was adopted by a very good set of Parents. Robert StrongBow
Rate of Child Abuse in NY much higher
than national rate
ALBANY, NY – The rate for child abuse in N.Y. is nearly double the national rate, according to the 28th Child Mistreatment report and the NYS Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (NYSKWIC). The Child Mistreatment report was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)(CPS) .
Based on reports of child abuse/neglect in 2017, the rate of child abuse in N.Y. is 17.1 per 1,000 children according to NYSKWIC. The national rate of child abuse for the same period in the U.S. was 9.1 per 1,000 children according to the HHS report.
The rate in the immediate Capital Region is also higher than the national average. In some counties, the rate is almost quadruple the national average. Saratoga County, while still higher than the national average, had the lowest rate in the area at 12.7, while Montgomery County had the highest at a staggering 34.3.
Locally, the highest number of child abuse/neglect cases were reported in Albany County (1,146) while the least number was reported in Greene County (203), according to NYSKWIC.
Younger children are more likely to die from abuse. Children 3-years-old or younger are particularly more susceptible but children under the age of one were the most likely to die because of abuse or neglect, the HHS report indicated.
Suspected child abuse or neglect in N.Y. can be reported by calling 1-800-342-3720. Reports can also be made to Law Enforcement, school officials, social workers, child care workers or medical/hospital personnel according to the NYS Office of Children and Family Services website.
5 facts about Child Abuse in the U.S.
Approximately 10 – 13 Children die from child abuse every day.
3.3 million cases of child abuse are reported every day.
In 2012, 82.2% of child abusers were between the ages of 18 and 44.
Boys and girls are victims of child abuse at almost the same rate.
3 out of 4 Children who die from child abuse or neglect are below the age of 3.