Mom in fetal death concealment case due in court
UXBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts woman who lived in a filthy, vermin-infested house where the bodies of three infants were found was due in court for a status hearing.
Erika Murray, 31, of Blackstone, was arraigned last month on charges of fetal death concealment, witness intimidation and permitting substantial injury to a child.
The state Department of Children and Families removed four children ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years from Murray's home in August after her 10-year-old son went to a neighbor's house and asked for help in quieting a crying baby.
The neighbor found a 6-month-old baby covered in feces and a 3-year-old child. After interviewing the older children, police got a search warrant and went back to the house, where they found the remains of three babies. The state medical examiner is trying to determine whether they were newborns or fetuses.
Murray was due in Uxbridge District Court on Tuesday morning for the routine hearing. Her boyfriend was due in the same courthouse Tuesday for a separate hearing on marijuana charges.
Murray's attorney, Keith Halpern, has said he believes Murray is suffering from a mental illness.
Halpern declined to comment on her condition Friday.
No birth records could be found for the two youngest children. Halpern said previously that he believes Murray secretly gave birth to those children because her boyfriend didn't want any more kids than the two they already had together, the 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl.
The boyfriend, Ramon Rivera, has not been charged in connection with the discovery of the infants' remains. A clerk at Uxbridge District Court said Rivera does not have a lawyer listed in his file.
The Blackstone Board of Health condemned the house where Murray, Rivera and the children lived and are planning to demolish it later this month. Authorities said it contained piles of dirty diapers, trash and the remains of dead animals.
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