As Ethan Stacy suffered from serious injuries sustained during a beating and needed medical attention, his mother and her boyfriend locked the 4-year-old boy in a room and went to get married.
Police documents released Wednesday detail the last days in the life of the boy whose body was found Tuesday buried near Powder Mountain.
On May 5, Ethan's eventual stepfather, Nathan Sloop, took the boy into a bedroom, closed the door and began slapping him and beating him around the head and face, according to an interview with the boy's mother, Stephanie Sloop, in police documents. When she walked in afterward, she saw Ethan's face was swelling and he needed medical attention, but she did not seek help, according to the probable cause statement filed by arresting Layton police officers.
The next day, the couple locked the boy in a bedroom by removing the inside doorknob and left to wed at the Davis County Memorial Courthouse in Farmington. They did not take Ethan with them because they worried someone would call police because of his injuries, Stephanie Sloop told officers.
During the next three days, Ethan would not eat, was lethargic, had a fever and was vomiting. The couple forced the boy to drink water, Kool-Aid and orange juice. They gave him Benadryl and Motrin to take down the swelling and subdue him, but did not seek medical attention, Stephanie Sloop said.
On Friday, Stephanie Sloop returned to their Layton apartment after shopping at Wal-Mart to find the boy was badly burned on his feet and legs from an overly hot bath. Nathan Sloop told her it was an accident. She said she did not believe him but still did not seek medical help because her husband would hurt her, the documents state.
She said Ethan was asleep in bed when she checked on him at 3 a.m. Sunday. She went to the pharmacy for a prescription for her husband, and when she returned at 5:30 a.m. that Mother's Day, he told her Ethan was dead. She said she did not call police then because her husband told her he would go to prison because of the bruises on the boy's body.
Instead, they took his body to an area near Powder Mountain and made efforts to disfigure the body in an apparent attempt to delay identification. After Nathan Sloop buried Ethan, he guided Stephanie Sloop to the grave to say her last goodbyes.
Monday night, Stephanie Sloop called police, saying her son had been wandering off for the past several nights and that she could not find him. After 40 officers spent 12 hours scouring the area, the Sloops' story unraveled and the investigation turned to Powder Mountain. Nathan Sloop led police to Ethan's makeshift grave, where they recovered his body at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
That night, officers arrested Nathan Sloop on suspicion of aggravated homicide, and both he and Stephanie Sloop on suspicion of child abuse, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body. The Davis County Attorney's Office plans to file charges against the couple Friday morning.