Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021

Monster buried son alive in concrete tomb and left him to starve to death

An evil dad who buried his starving son alive in a concrete tomb has been caged for 72 years.

Monster Lelan Pankey, 40, from Denver, Colorado, encased seven-year-old Caden McWilliams in concrete and left him to die.

When it was uncovered, Caden's emaciated body weighed just 27 pounds.

He had been encased in concrete inside a dog carrier hidden in a storage unit.

Police reported he had suffered multiple injuries and bone fractures to the head, torso, and limbs.

Some of the injuries showed signs of healing, indicating they were old.

Toxicology results following his death two days before Christmas 2018 showed the child also had cocaine metabolite and methamphetamine in his liver tissue.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann called the case "one of the most horrific cases ever handled by the Denver DA's Office".

She added: "Pankey's offences were intentional, deliberate, calculated, callous, self-serving and depraved of any sense of humanity or human kindness.

"The crimes shock the conscience and are incomprehensible to the people of Denver."

Pankey pleaded guilty in January to charges of child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased human body.

The court slapped him with a 72-year sentence, the maximum possible jail term that could be handed down.

Under the deal, prosecutors dropped a murder charge, partly because Caden's body was so decomposed authorities couldn't specify how he died.

They also said the deal avoided holding a trial which would have featured gruesome evidence and brought added trauma to Caden's relatives, as well as those in court.

The Denver Post reported that Pankey sat emotionless as the court was shown photos of his smiling son.

Caden's family pleaded with the judge to not allow him to ever walk free and try and contact the boy's sister, who was just four years old.

She used to feed her starving brother cereal through the bars of the dog kennel he was kept in.

The unnamed girl was so deeply traumatised by her brother's death that her aunt said she sometimes sits on the floor rocking backwards and forwards for comfort.

Caden's mum Elisha McWilliams Pankey, 44, was charged in January with child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse.

She faces 16 to 32 years in prison.

Denver District Judge A Bruce Jones said: "I reject the idea that Caden slipped through the cracks.

"He was dragged through the cracks by the defendant and co-defendant."

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