Police: Aurora mother of boy found dead in storage unit arrested


DENVER | An Aurora woman suspected to be the mother of a missing boy whose body was located in a storage unit in Denver has been arrested, police said Thursday.

This photo provided by the Denver Police shows Elisha Pankey, 43, who was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in the death of a 7-year-old boy believed to be her son who was found dead in a storage unit last month. Police say she is being held for investigation of child abuse resulting in death.(Denver Police via AP)

In a press release, the Denver Police Department said Thursday that Elisha Pankey, 43, is being held in jail on investigation of child abuse resulting in death, according to authorities. She surrendered on Wednesday.

Police found the missing child Dec. 23 after receiving a tip from the Aurora Police Department.

Police have released very little information as the investigation is ongoing.

Court records show Pankey was charged with drug possession in Aurora on Dec. 22.

The public defender’s office did not return a request for comment.

In an arrest affidavit filed against Pankey by Aurora Police, officials describe finding two pill bottles containing heroin with Pankey’s name on them.

Aurora Police Sgt. Patrick Shaker wrote he was instructed by police to go to the Extended Stay America hotel near the intersection of East Evans Avenue and Interstate 225 to get prescription pills for Pankey. 

Shaker was supervising “personnel at a crime scene for a missing child” on Dec. 21 when he was told to go to the Aurora hotel, according to the affidavit.

At the hotel, he found two pill bottles with Pankey’s name on them, at least one of which contained a substance later determined to be heroin. 

Police later executed a search warrant on the room and arrested Pankey around 2:15 a.m. on Dec. 22 at the La Quinta in Aurora on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. 

She was later taken to the Aurora Municipal Jail before being transferred to the Arapahoe County Jail, records indicate.

Pankey was released after posting a $1,000 personal recognizance bond at about 2:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, according to Julie Brooks, spokeswoman for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.