Update: Family Identifies Murdered 5-Year-Old

By: Erin Murray, Brittany Gunter Email
By: Erin Murray, Brittany Gunter Email
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Posted September 2, 2013

A teenager is accused of murdering a 5-year-old boy. The body was discovered in a ravine. Channel Six has learned new information about Dominic Elkins - the child whose death is at the center of the case.

Dominic Elkins

Investigators say the boy had only been sharing the foster home of his accused killer, for a few weeks. The mother of one of the foster parents, Ladena Coolman, tells Channel Six he had already worked his way into the heart of her daughter-in-law.

"[She told me] if he ever came up for adoption she would love to adopt him," says Coolman.

Coolman says the boy was bright and eager to please.

Dominic's biological grandmother, Stacy Hansen, says he was full of love.

“He was just such a wonderful, wonderful child, I mean a child that loved his mom, and loved his nanny and poppy," says Hansen. "It’s just so hard to believe we are not going to get to see him anymore."

Monday night, Iowa's Division of Criminal Investigations said the boy's autopsy has been completed. The autopsy should reveal how deputies believe Cody Metzker-Madsen, 17, killed the 5-year-old. So far details have been few and far between.

Results may be released as early as Tuesday morning.

Posted September 1, 2013 at 4:05pm

A day after a child was found dead in a rural Iowa ravine, investigators took 17-year-old Cody Metzker-Madsen into custody. He is being charged with 1st degree murder.

"He'll be charged as an adult, it automatically bumps him at his age with this type of charge to the adult court," said Mitch Mortvedt, Iowa DCI Special Agent In Charge.

The sheriff's office received a 911 call around 7:15 p.m. Saturday regarding a missing and possibly injured child in the Logan area. Caregivers of the boy later notified law enforcement that his body was found in a ravine.

"It's our understanding the 17 year old, Cody, has been there for almost 3 years, and the five and a half year old young boy, had only been there two to three weeks," said Mortvedt.

A family friend tells Channel 6 News the boy was in foster care.

The five year old's grandmother, Stacy Hansen, said the boy was, "very fully of life, full of energy, like any normal five and a half year old."

She said their family had just seen the boy for a four day weekend.

"She is very devastated, very upset, there is a gaping hole in all of our heart because this little boy was taken away from us," said Hansen.

The child's name is not being released pending notification of family.

An autopsy will be done by the Iowa State Medical Examiner's office.

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