Father charged in death of 7-year-old boy found in Denver storage unit

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Leland Pankey. Credit: Denver DA

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DENVER — Charges have been filed against the father of 7-year-old Caden McWilliams, the boy who was found dead in a southeast Denver storage unit in December.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Leland Pankey, 39, faces three counts: first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and tempering with a deceased human.

A hearing is scheduled for June 27.

McWilliams’ mother, Elisha Pankey, was already charged in the death in January. She was charged with child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse

The boy’s body was found encased in cement in a dog carrier inside a storage unit in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue on Dec. 23, 2018.

“What began as a domestic violence call to the Aurora Police Department rapidly evolved into a homicide investigation because responding officers cared enough to ensure the involved children were safe,” said District Attorney Beth McCann in a statement. “We have now implicated both parents in this truly horrific crime.”

McCann added that McWilliams’ younger sister is “safe and adjusting well.”

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