Father faces charges after boy's remains found in concrete, in a dog kennel in a Colorado storage unit

 Leland Pankey.  Photo courtesy Denver DA.  Father facing charges for his own son's death.
Leland Pankey. Photo courtesy Denver DA. Father facing charges for his own son's death. (KKTV)
Published: May. 30, 2019 at 8:49 PM MDT
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A disturbing find in Denver has resulted in murder charges being filed against the father of a Colorado boy.

On Dec. 23, 2018, The Denver District Attorney's Office is reporting authorities found a dog carrier in a storage unit. In the dog carrier was a large block of cement. What was found in that block of cement has led to murder charges for the death of a 7-year-old boy.

“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 McCann. “We have now implicated both parents in this truly horrific crime.”

Leland Pankey is the biological father of 7-year-old Caden McWilliams. Caden's body was found in the block of cement that was in a dog carrier hidden in a Colorado storage unit. On Thursday, Pankey was charged with first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased human. Charges were also filed against the boy's mother, Elisha Pankey.

According to court records released Thursday, Elisha Pankey told investigators in March that her husband kept Caden in a dog kennel for days before he died in July.

On Feb. 28, the autopsy report indicated Caden had died as a result of homicide by undetermined means with child maltreatment being a significant factor.

“These charges are the result of outstanding work by many people, however, I want to especially acknowledge and thank members of the Aurora Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit, Denver Police Detectives Marty Smith and Kari Johnson, as well as Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Morales, Deputy District Attorney Melissa Fox and Denver District Attorney Investigator Teresa Wertsch,” continued McCann. “This case has been painstaking and painful for all involved and it has horrified the public conscience as it progressed. The one thing that I am happy to report is that Caden’s younger sister is safe and adjusting well.”

A hearing for Pankey is scheduled for June 27. He is serving a state prison sentence on unrelated charges.