Mother of boy found dead in Denver storage unit sentenced to 32 years in prison

Local News

Elisha Pankey (left) and Caden McWilliams (right)

DENVER (KDVR) — Elisha Pankey, the mother of a 7-year-old boy who was found dead and encased in concrete in a southeast Denver storage unit in 2018, was sentenced Wednesday to 32 years in prison plus five years of parole. It is the maximum sentence for child abuse resulting in death, which Pankey pleaded guilty to in August 2019.

Caden McWilliams’ body was found in a storage unit in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue on Dec. 23, 2018. The body was encased in concrete in a dog carrier.

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.

Denver DA Beth McCann issued the following statement, in part, about Elisha’s sentencing:

“The horrific death of Caden McWilliams shocked the conscience and was incomprehensible to the people of Denver. Now that Elisha Pankey has been sentenced, the legal proceedings in this case have concluded. Yet Caden’s story is one that will always be in my heart, the hearts of our incredible prosecutors, victim advocates and investigators, as well as everyone who knew and loved Caden.”

In February 2020, Caden’s father Leland Pankey was sentenced to 72 years in prison for his role in the boy’s death.

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