Father sentenced to 72 years in death of boy found encased in concrete in Denver storage unit

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DENVER (KDVR) -- The father of the 7-year-old boy who was found dead in a south Denver storage unit in December 2018 was sentenced to 72 years in prison Friday.

Leland Pankey, 40, appeared in court Friday morning for child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased human in the death of 7-year-old Caden McWilliams.

McWilliams’ mother, Elisha Pankey, pleaded guilty in August to child abuse resulting in death. The plea agreement approved by a judge recommends that Elisha Pankey spend between 16 and 32 years in prison. Her sentencing is expected soon.

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, 2018.

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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