Ethan Stacy: The Denver connection to the four-year old's brutal murder

Among the year's most horrific tales of child abuse involves Ethan Stacy, a four-year old found buried near Utah's Powder Mountain Ski Resort -- the victim of what an affidavit in the case describes as a "systematic and progressively more violent pattern of abuse" that included severe burns and head injuries so gruesome that the boy couldn't be taken out in public.

Murder charges are expected soon against Ethan's stepfather, Nathan Sloop, and mother, Stephanie. Such a move will likely be cheered by the more than 45,000 members currently signed up to the Justice For Ethan Stacy Facebook Group. Meanwhile, more details are emerging about the Sloops. For instance, the Deseret News reports that the couple put their home up for sale in March because "they were seeking a new job in Denver."

Had things happened differently, this nightmare could have taken place here instead of in a neighboring state -- where, on Wednesday, according to the aforementioned Facebook page, Ethan's funeral will be held.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts