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Judge had sent slain boy to live with mother

Associated Press / May 13, 2010

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SALT LAKE CITY — A custody fight in Virginia led to a judge’s order that a 4-year-old boy spend the summer in Utah with his mother, who will be charged as an accomplice to the youngster’s killing, police and a family member said yesterday.

“I can’t talk right now. I just got the horrible news, talking to prosecutors,’’ said Joe G. Stacy of Tazewell, Va., who is the biological father of Ethan Stacy.

The boy’s body was desecrated and buried in a northern Utah canyon, where it was recovered Tuesday, police said.

The stepfather, Nathanael W. Sloop, 31, of Layton, is being held on suspicion of aggravated murder. He and the boy’s mother, Stephanie Sloop, 27, also face additional charges of desecration of a corpse, felony child abuse, and obstruction of justice.