FARMINGTON, Utah (CBS/AP) Ethan Stacy's mother, Stephanie Sloop, may face aggravated murder charges along with her husband in her 4-year-old's son's gruesome murder, according to Utah prosecutors.
Searchers dug up Ethan's badly beaten and disfigured body May 11, about 10 days after he arrived in Utah for a summer visit with his 27-year-old mother.
Police said Stephanie Sloop initially told officers her son had wandered away from her Layton, Utah apartment and the couple reported him missing soon after.
But court documents filed by prosecutors paint a very different story.
According to probable cause statements obtained by Crimesider, Nathanael Sloop, the boy's stepfather, acknowledged beating the boy for days before his May 9 death and Stephanie Sloop did nothing to stop it.
After the boy died, Nathanael Stoop used a hammer to disfigure the boy's face and teeth to keep him from being identified, then buried the body in a canyon, according to the papers.
The couple were arrested, but prosecutors delayed charging them in order to prepare for a potential death penalty case, according to the Associated Press.
"We're not going to file charges before all of our ducks are in a row and we're ready to go, but we intend to get there," Rawlings said.
On Friday, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said both Stephanie and Nathanael Sloop will likely be charged with aggravated murder. The Sloops may also be charged with felony child abuse, obstruction of justice and desecration of a corpse, Rawlings said.
At Friday's hearing, both separately agreed to waive their right to be bailed out of jail until at least their next court appearance on May 28.
Nathanael Sloop kept his head low and wept softly during his court appearance. Stephanie Sloop appeared withdrawn and showed no visible emotion during the twin hearings that together lasted less than 15 minutes.MORE ON CRIMESIDER: