'Baby Doe' identified as Boston girl, Bella Bond, 5 Investigates reports
BOSTON —The young girl the world came to know as "Baby Doe" has been identified as Bella Bond and her mother's boyfriend, Michael Patrick McCarthy, arrested and charged with her murder, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said Friday.
The family of a little girl whose body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island earlier this summer is shocked to learn their relative has been identified as "Baby Doe."
As the mystery of a toddler whose body was found on Deer Island earlier this year becomes clearer, social media is offering a glimpse into the family life of "Baby Doe."
Bella's mother, Rachelle Bond, was charged as an accessory after the fact. Conley did not offer specifics on her involvement, but she may have been involved in the placement of Bella's body on Deer Island.
Photos: Blanket, clothing found with Baby Doe
"We hoped against hope that her death was not a crime, the evidence suggests otherwise. This child was murdered," said Conley.
Bella was just shy of 3-years-old when she died, according to posts showing her second birthday party on Facebook.
The break in the case, which was first reported by 5 Investigates Kathy Curran, came after a tip was received and a search warrant executed at a Maxwell Street home in Dorchester Thursday.
Final confirmation of Bella's identity requires positive identification using DNA testing by the State Medical Examiner.
"The men and women who investigated this case have given her her name back. Now we will give her justice," said Massachusetts State Police Col. Richard McKeon.
Neighbors confirmed to NewsCenter 5 that Bella lived in the Dorchester home.
"She (the mother) tried to be responsible, but she was on drugs," said Yessiomora Torres. "She talked slurred, she'd come out and smoke a cigarette, her daughter would be crying."
"The mother and boyfriend are blaming each other for who harmed the child," said Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, whose district includes Deer Island.
Bella's cause of death still puzzles investigators. However, Conley said they have a strong case against the couple.
"We have powerful evidence that has provided us a manner of death that we will be able to prove in court," said Conley.
Torres said that when she stopped seeing Bella that she assumed the girl had been taken by the Department of Children and Families.
"At one point she was briefly involved with DCF, but the case was closed in 2013," Gov. Charlie Baker said.
DCF was involved with Rachelle Bond twice, according to a spokeswoman. There were allegations of neglect in both 2012 and 2013. In each case, DCF provided services and closed the case.
The young girl's body was found inside a trash bag by a woman who was walking her dog on Deer Island on June 25.
"This story is really going to hinge on who this child is and what her history was, who her family is and where she came from," said retired Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben, who led the investigation for months. "Then we are going to open the door to many investigative means."
In the months after the discovery of her body, state police detectives acted on hundreds of leads suggesting possible matches for the young girl in Massachusetts and 35 other states and several countries.
More than 200 girls were ruled out as being the young girl. The computer-generated image of Baby Doe was viewed nearly 60 million times.
"It's a good day that we brought a name to this face," said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. "It's a sad day that we lost a child and will never get her back. Hopefully she will now rest in peace."