LAYTON, Utah (CBS/KUTV/AP) The body of missing 4-year-old Ethan Stacy was found in Ogden canyon in Utah on Tuesday evening. Ethan's parents had reported the child missing Monday, saying that he wandered out of the family's apartment in Layton; however, police arrested and charged both the mother and the stepfather with the death of Ethan Tuesday.
Utah police allege Ethan died of abuse and neglect by his mother, Stephanie Sloop, and stepfather, Nathanael Sloop, in Utah.
Both have been jailed on suspicion of aggravated murder, but neither of them have been charged.
Layton Police began searching for Ethan around midnight on Tuesday after Stephanie called police and told them that her son had wandered away from the family's apartment. Stephanie told police that her preschooler had walked out of the house five out of the past ten nights.
Lt. Garret Atkin of the Layton Police began scouring the family's apartment complex for clues on the assumption that Ethan was a missing child. They knocked on neighbors doors at 4 a.m. asking them to search their apartments-cabinets, closets, beds- but Ethan was nowhere to be found, reports CBS affiliate KUTV.
The police team was using bloodhounds, searching trash bags, and identifying local sex offenders, but could not find one piece of evidence leading to them to the missing boy.
Around 11 a.m., police began questioning Ethan's parents. Police say that the Sloops' story changed, says KUTV.
With new information, officers began a new search 25 miles away in Ogden Canyon. Despite the bad weather, the search continued and at around 5 p.m. police were seen carrying a blue bag out of the woods. They confirmed that the body was in fact Ethan Stacy's and the Sloops were arrested, according to KUTV.
Cora Minneboo, neighbor of the Sloops who had been worried all morning about Ethan told KUTV, "I am so sick to my stomach. I don't see how anybody could do that to anyone-much less a little kid."
Another neighbor of the Sloops, Gary McPhie, said to KUTV he was sure he saw the boy just two days ago walking in the apartment complex. "If parents do this to a little boy, what's the world come to?" McPhie wondered.
The Layton police said that Stephanie and Nathan were married May 1, and Ethan had arrived in Utah from his biological father's home in Virginia only ten days ago. He was going to spend the summer with his mother.