Body of missing 4 yr old found, parents arrested www.privateofficer.com
Layton police said Ethan Stacy’s stepfather, Nathan Sloop, 31, was being charged with aggravated homicide. In addition, Sloop and the boy’s mother, Stephanie Sloop, 27, will be charged with felony child abuse, obstruction of justice and desecration of a corpse, police said.
Stephanie Sloop reported Ethan missing around 9 p.m. Monday, saying he had left his bed and wandered from their apartment complex. Officials said she told them the boy had walked away five of the last 10 nights.
“That appears to have been a ruse by the mother, something to cover the tracks,” said Layton police Lt. Garret Atkin.
Police searched overnight and said that by midday Tuesday, the couple had revealed the location of Ethan’s body. The search then shifted 20 miles away to a spot off a wooded trail in Wolf Canyon, which borders the Powder Mountain ski resort. The resort is about 40 miles northeast of Salt Lake City.
It wasn’t clear as searchers were digging up remains when Ethan was killed or how, police said Tuesday. Five officers were seen carrying a blue bag out of the woods late Tuesday afternoon.
Atkin refused to describe the condition of the boy’s body.
The couple was married only 10 days ago, when Ethan arrived in Utah to spend the summer with his mother, police said. His biological father is in Virginia. His name was not released by police.
Investigators spent the early morning hours Tuesday combing through the Sloops’ cupboards and closets, and through Dumpsters and the area near the apartment complex looking for the boy. Sex offenders in the area were interviewed and had their homes searched, Atkin said.
The Sloops’ story of a barefoot boy wandering outside in his pajamas changed throughout the day, Atkin said.
A Utah State Courts records check found that Nathan Sloop has a string of criminal convictions for misdemeanor and felony crimes — including criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and drug possession — dating back to 2000.
In 2003, he was convicted of third-degree felony drug possession with the intent to manufacture and given a suspended sentence of up to five years in the Utah State Prison. He served 30 days in the Weber County Jail, along with probation. The charge was later amended to a misdemeanor.
No criminal record was found for Stephanie Sloop.
An after-hours message left for the Davis County attorney’s office was not immediately returned Tuesday.
It wasn’t clear when charges would be filed or when the Sloops would make a court appearance. An after-hours message left for the Davis County attorney’s office was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Nobody answered a phone at the Sloops’ apartment late Tuesday, and a message wasn’t returned. Neighbors told reporters the couple were newcomers to the complex.
Richard Gallegos, a defense attorney listed in online court records for Nathan Sloop, didn’t return an after-hours message Tuesday at his office. Gallegos represented Sloop the last time he was in trouble with the law.