Father charged in death of boy found in Denver storage unit appears in court

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Leland Pankey. Credit: Denver DA

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DENVER -- The father charged with killing his 7-year-old son who was found dead in a Denver storage unit in December made a court appearance Thursday.

Leland Pankey had his first advisement and the charges were formally read to him. A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 11.

Pankey, 39, is charged with first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and tempering with a deceased human in the death of 7-year-old Caden McWilliams.

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

McWilliams' body was found in a storage unit in southeast Denver encased in cement in a dog carrier inside a storage unit in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue on Dec. 23.

Police discovered the body after a domestic violence call. The Denver District Attorney's Office said responding officers were trying to make sure all children involved were safe and were unable to find McWilliams.

The boy had a little sister and she is safe and adjusting well, prosecutors said.

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