Nathaneal and Stephanie Sloop wedding page.
FARMINGTON -- Ethan Stacy died after several days of abuse, and the man accused of killing him used a hammer to disfigure the 4-year-old's face and teeth to delay identification, according to a probable cause statement released by the Davis County Sheriff's Office.
Nathaneal Sloop, 31, the boy's stepfather, faces charges of aggravated murder, child abuse, obstruction of justice and abuse or desecration of a human body.
Stephanie Sloop, 27, Nathan's wife and Ethan's mother, faces charges of child abuse, obstruction of justice and abuse or desecration of a human body.
Both are in the Davis County jail, Nathaneal Sloop held without bail and Stephanie Sloop held on $100,000 bail.
The sheriff's corrections division released the affidavits Wednesday evening following open-records requests by the Standard-Examiner and other media.
Both affidavits briefly outline the Layton police investigation into how the boy died, including details of increasingly violent abuse over a period of days. The abuse ranged from beating the boy to scalding him in a bathtub to forcing him to eat feces.
Detectives wrote that while questioning the parents, they found photos and video images of the boy dated May 4 on Stephanie Sloop's cell phone, "showing a progression of injuries" to the child's head and face.
Other than a statement that Nathaneal Sloop "became angry" at the boy on May 5, there is no indication of what triggered the prolonged abuse.
Stephanie Sloop knew of the abuse but did nothing to stop it or get medical help for the child, detectives wrote.
On Sunday, the Sloops found the boy dead in his bed, according to the document. His body was placed in plastic garbage bags and taped shut, before placing "Ethan in a plastic bin."
The couple then drove to the Powder Mountain area where they buried the little boy's body.
Stephanie Sloop drove to a convenience store and bought lighter fluid for Nathan Sloop, "because he wanted to burn the body," according to the documents.
The couple was married on May 6 in Farmington and left the boy in his bedroom, locked in by removing the doorknob, because they were afraid if he was seen in public, police would be called about his injuries.
The Davis County Attorney's Office plans to file formal charges in 2nd District Court on Friday against the Sloops. A news conference will be held at 11 a.m. Friday to explain what the exact charges will be, said Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings.
The two are expected to appear in court Friday afternoon for initial appearance hearings.
"We are truly sorry for the family of Ethan Stacy and will be mindful of them as this case progresses," Rawlings wrote in news release Wednesday.
An autopsy was conducted Wednesday at the state medical examiner's office.
A custody fight in Virginia led to a judge's order that the 4-year-old boy spend the summer with his mother in Utah, police said Wednesday.
Ethan's biological father, Joe G. Stacy, of Tazewell, Va., received a full briefing on the case Wednesday, he told The Associated Press.
"I can't talk right now. I just got the horrible news, talking to prosecutors," said Stacy. "Right now is not the time."
Ethan arrived in Utah on May 1 after flying here from Florida with his mother, according to a news release.
A massive search for the boy began early Tuesday morning after his mother called police reporting he was missing.
That report turned out to be false.
The Sloops became "persons of interest in the case" after their stories kept changing, police said.
According to the state court website, Nathaneal Sloop has a number of convictions, mostly drug related, with the last one in 2003.
Nathaneal Sloop also faces charges of damaging a jail, stemming from damage he caused at the Layton Police Department, according to a news release from the police department.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this story.