LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Ethan's tragic murder has captured the hearts of thousands in Utah and across the United States. Many of our viewers want to know more about the relationship between his biological father and mother.
Ethan Stacy was born in Georgia to a loving family. It didn't take long for things to go terribly wrong. "He's beyond devastated. It's a moment by moment day by day thing with him," said Ethan's Aunt Ereka Akers. The grief is too much for Ethan's 36-year-old biological father Joe Stacy.
This story begins in Georgia when times were better. Ethan's parents lived on the Fort Stewart Hunter Army Airbase before they divorced. Ethan's uncle and aunt lived on base as well.
Ereka remembers watching Ethan on the base. "He was definitely a quiet shy boy, but he definitely liked boy things. Cars and trucks and all that kind of stuff," she said.
Ethan didn't know the turmoil his parents would face. His father kept the problems quiet as long as possible. "He did not trust her. He felt that she was extremely unstable," said Akers.
Ethan's Aunt said Stephanie would leave Ethan and his father. She said the instability hit a breaking point last Thanksgiving when Joe and Ethan were at Ereka's home. "Stephanie called Joe and said she wanted to relinquish all of her parental rights. That was the big conversation because that was a shock to him," she said.
Stepanie changed her mind and a judge gave her visitation rights. Joe tried to stop the visit, but was forced to let Ethan go. Ethan recently moved to Virginia with his father to start a new life. "Joe did not feel comfortable with her having any custody especially so far away," Ereka said.
Finally, Ethan's body was found buried near Powder Mountain in Utah. The news is still devastating because of the warning signs leading up to the boys death.
Ethan's biological father never suspected his son would be murdered. He was afraid Stephanie would kid nap him, according to Ereka.