SALT LAKE CITY (CBS/AP) Ethan Stacy's mother and stepfather, Stephanie and Nathanael Sloop, are expected to be formally charged today in the death of Stephanie's 4-year-old son.
Nathanael, 31, is being held on suspicion of aggravated murder in Ethan Stacy's death. He and Ethan's mother, 27, also face charges of desecration of a corpse, felony child abuse and obstruction of justice, police said.
The two remain in jail, and their first court appearances are scheduled for Friday. Security will be tight, said Deputy Davis County Attorney David Cole.
Ethan's body was found wrapped in plastic in Ogden canyon in Utah on Tuesday evening. His mother and stepfather reported him 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 his death Tuesday.
Interview summaries filed by Layton police detectives documented a pattern of increasingly harsh treatment of the boy, who was sent by a Virginia judge to Utah for a summer visit with his mother.
Police said they obtained pictures and video of the boy's progressively worse condition from the mother's cell phone, starting more than a week ago.
The 31-year-old stepfather, Nathanael Sloop, acknowledged hitting the boy, which caused his face to swell, and leaving Ethan in a locked bedroom on May 6 while the couple went off to get married, according to the probable cause statements. Sloop and the boy's mother, Stephanie Sloop, 27, feared the boy's injuries would alert authorities if they took him along to the courthouse wedding, the documents state.
According to probable cause documents from the Layton County Sheriff's Department concerning the arrest of Ethan's mother Stephanie Sloop, the mom received a phone call last Friday from her husband saying the 4-year-old had burned himself while taking a bath.
When Stephanie arrived home, the documents say that she found Ethan badly burned on both feet and along the back of his legs to his buttock area. She also noticed what she described to police as human feces in Ethan's mouth.
Stephanie told investigators that she did not get medical attention for Ethan, though she felt he needed it, due to fear that her husband would harm her if she tried to do so, according to the documents.
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