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Mother arrested and boyfriend charged with murdering toddler found in plastic bag

The girl, previously known as “Baby Doe”, has been identified.

10569013_276159649255054_1467956920086596758_n Bella Bond, previously known as Baby Doe. Source: Facebook

Updated: 10.57 pm

POLICE IN BOSTON have identified the toddler found dead in a plastic bag in June, and arrested her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, according to several local and national media reports.

At the time, the girl was estimated to have been around four years old, and was known as “Baby Doe.”

Today officials named her as Bella Bond, and gave her age at the time of her death as two years old.

Bella’s mother Rachelle Bond, and her boyfriend Michael McCarthy, have been arrested, CNN reported earlier today.

Later this evening, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley confirmed that McCarthy had been charged with murder, and Bond is charged with being an accessory after the fact.

CPNuzLkWIAA6sqD Rachelle Bond and Michael McCarthy Source: WCVB

Authorities came to an address on Maxwell Street, in the Dorchester area of Boston, yesterday evening, after a tip-off from what news website the Daily Beast called “someone close to the family,” citing an anonymous police official.

10615575_278799525657733_1389916381273527414_n Bella Bond. Source: Facebook

The Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Robert DeLeo, has been briefed on the investigation, and said Bella’s mother and her boyfriend are “blaming each other” for the girl’s death.

[Investigators] feel they have the perpetrators of this crime.
It appears as though it was a situation of the boyfriend who was involved and apparently, I think, mother and boyfriend sort of blaming each other in terms of who harmed the child.

De Leo said the boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, was being treated at a Boston hospital for drug issues. He also said authorities are “in the process of taking a witness or two before the grand jury.”

Officials from the state’s child protection agency said they had contact with Bella twice, for four months in 2012 and three months in 2013.

In both cases, officials described the involvement as “support for neglect,” and the cases were later closed.

Between 2001 and 2006, the Department of Children and Families terminated parental rights for two of her mother’s older children.

One of the children was later adopted by her maternal grandmother; the other was adopted by someone outside the family, DCF officials said.

Ferry Christening Deer Island at Boston Harbour, where Bella Bond's body was found in June. Source: Associated Press

Bella Bond’s body was found on 25 June inside a rubbish bag on Deer Island in Winthrop by a woman walking a dog.

Police immediately appealed to the public for help in identifying the girl.

Using photos of her remains, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a composite image of what the girl might have looked like when she was alive.

bella2 A digitally-rendered composite image of 'Baby Doe'. Source: AP

Within two weeks of the discovery of her body, the image of the chubby-cheeked, brown-eyed girl had tugged on heartstrings around the world.

By early July, the image had been liked on the Massachusetts State Police Facebook page by more than 50,000 people and shared more than 615,000 times, reaching an estimated 47 million people.

Originally published: 7.59 pm

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Police appeal for help after unidentified toddler found dead in plastic bag>

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Dan MacGuill

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