LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Police say the mother and stepfather of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy have been arrested and face murder charges.
The mother of Ethan Stacy told police she went to check on the boy at around midnight, and found out he was gone.
Officials were concentrating their search in the area around Layton Hills Mall throughout most of the day on Tuesday. Search dogs, a helicopter and thermal imaging technolgy were used in the search. Police also said that lists and addresses of knowd sex offenders were compiled, and that investigators made efforts to locate and interview them.
At around 11:00 a.m., police called off the search in Layton for Ethan, saying volunteers were no longer needed to look for him. Police said they had a 'credible tip' that led them to disband the search in Layton and shift the investigation to another area 30 miles away.
A spokesman for the Weber County Sheriff's Office later confirmed to ABC 4 that a search for Ethan Stacy had been initiated in the Powder Mountain Ski Resort area.
A crime scene was developing near Powder Mountain by late Tuesday afternoon.
At a press conference Tuesday evening, Layton Police Lieutenant Garret Atkin said that remains matching the description of Ethan Stacy were found in a shallow grave at a site 8 miles north of Ogden Canyon near Powder Mountain Ski resort at about 5 p.m.
Crime scene investigators were seen leaving the mountain site with several bags, including a large blue bag.
Atkin said during the search and investigation, Ethan's mother and stepfather were interviewed over several hours.
Ethan and his mother are new to the area, and over the past couple of weeks, she claimed the boy wandered off at least five times, but was found fairly quickly. Atkin said the story of the boy wandering off appears to be a ruse by Ethan's mother.
Ethan's stepfather, 31-year-old Nathan Sloop, faces an aggravated homicide charge, along with child abuse, obstruction of justice, and desecration of a corpse charges.
Ethan's mother, 21-year-old Stephanie Sloop faces child abuse, obstruction of justice and desecration charges.
Atkin said the Sloops were married earlier in May.
Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for more on this story.