Victim: Dominic Lloyd Lee Elkins, 5, was found at the base of a 25-foot ravine after his foster brother allegedly beat him with bricks.
A teenage boy in foster care now faces first degree murder charges after he reportedly killed a 5-year-old boy that was living in the same house.
Dominic Lloyd Lee Elkins, 5, and Cody Metzker-Madsen, 17 had lived together in the same Iowa for only two or three weeks before Dominic was found dead at the bottom of a ravine over Labor Day weekend.
Metzker-Madsen is now being held in jail on a first degree murder charge as local authorities continue their investigation into what prompted the attack.
Originally the teenager said that the younger boy was ‘playing with bricks’ and hitting himself but then when police discovered blood on Cody’s shirt he changed his story.
Julie and Don Coolman, the married couple who had taken the two boys in as foster parents while also raising their own biological children, have not spoken publicly since Dominic’s death.
Don Coolman’s father Mick told local station KMTV that Metzker-Madsen’s ‘mental issues’ may be to blame as he ‘was on the same level as Dominic, a 5, 6 year old’.
‘Julie loved him and had bonded with them. They need their privacy and time to grieve,’ Mick Coolman said of his daughter in law.
She is not the only one, as Dominic’s birth mother is devastated over her son’s death.
Barbara Kunch, 24, spoke to The Des Moines Register in the wake of his death, telling how he put the boy in foster care because he had severe behavioral problems and she was unable to handle him.
‘It’s not something I wanted to do, but it’s something that needed to be done,’ she said of the difficult decision to put him into the state’s care.
Dominic, 5, would throw uncontrollable tantrums and physically abuse others.
That aggressive behavior had apparently come under control in recent days after he received months of therapy at a local treatment center before he was put into the Coolman’s care.
Better days: Dominic’s biological mother Barbara Kunch, 24, has spoken out about her devastation
‘It was amazing. There’s no word to describe it,’ Ms Kunch said of her son’s behavioral progress.
‘I can’t even look in the mirror. I just start bawling. He was my world. He really was.’
Police are still investigating what led up to the alleged altercation between Dominic and Cody.
The boy’s body was found inside a ravine on Saturday evening, meaning that first responders had to repel down 20 to 25 feet in order to retrieve the body.
He had bruises on his head and torso.
Relatives of the foster parents say that they are in a state of shock.
‘Some foster families probably are in it for the money. This family, our daughter in law and son are not in it for the money. They loved little Dominic,’ Mick Coolman said.
Read more: Daily Mail