Almost four months ago, a tiny toddler was found dead on the beach at Deer Island in the Boston Harbor. At the time, the little girl was nicknamed "Baby Doe," since authorities couldn't figure out who she was.
But now, police have tentatively identified her as two-year-old Bella Bond, a baby from Boston's Mattapan neighborhood.
On Friday, officials arrested the young victim's mother, Rachelle, and her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, in connection with the child's death.
They are charging Michael with murder, and are slapping Bella's mother with accessory after the fact.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley opened up about the break in the case, saying:
"We allege that McCarthy caused Bella's death, that he did so intentionally, that he and Bond took specific steps to keep Bella's death a secret and to avoid prosecution."
Authorities haven't said much about how the little one died, but they're supposed to share their conclusion in court on Monday. For now, the DA only said:
"We have a very good idea about what happened to her, based on the evidence. We believe by an act of violence in the very place that she should have felt safest, in her home."
The investigators are still waiting for DNA test results to confirm that Baby Doe is Bella, but they feel pretty sure that their identification is correct.
About a week after they found her body, police created a computer-generated photo of Baby Doe (above, right) that looks a lot like Facebookphotos of Bella (above, left).
Detectives didn't investigate Rachelle's household until after they received a tip, and raided the home on Thursday night.
Neighbors say that, while they hadn't seen Bella for a while, they assumed she had been taken by child services, since her mother had issues with the Department of Children & Families in the past.
One neighbor explained:
"She tried to be responsible, but she was on drugs. She talked slurred, she'd come out and smoke a cigarette, her daughter would be crying."
Rachelle's boyfriend is currently being held in a nearby hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for issues not connected to the case.
Bella's body will be given to her biological father.
Our hearts are truly broken over this case, and our thoughts are with everyone hurting after this terrible tragedy.
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