The mystery of “Baby Doe” has been solved, and the parents of 2-year-old Bella Bond are now under arrest for the little girl’s murder.
The body of the then-unidentified girl was found stuffed inside a trash bag on Deer Island on June 25. Investigators constructed a likeness of the young girl; a picture that has become famous in the Boston area in the past few months.
Police followed hundreds of leads since the discovery of her body, ultimately ruling out close to 200 other cases.
But on Friday, police said they had finally identified Baby Doe as Bella Bond, who was just before her third birthday when she died. WCBV reported that police found a break in the case after conducting a search of a home in Dorchester.
Neighbors said Bella Bond appeared to be neglected.
“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.”
Torres said the girl was no longer living at the home, and she assumed that she had been taken by the Department of Children and Families. The department reportedly investigated Bells Bond’s mother on two occasions, both for allegations of neglect.
“Since June, the Department has been working closely with law enforcement on exploring dozens of leads in hopes to identify the little girl found on Deer Island. Now that we know her name, the story is no less tragic. DCF has not had an open case with this family for over two years, but did have brief involvement with Baby Bella as an infant. Our thoughts are with Bella’s extended family as the investigation into her death continues,” said DCF spokesperson Rhonda Mann in a statement.
Officials said that the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, was arrested on unspecified charges. Her boyfriend, identified by My Fox Boston as Michael McCarthy, is also in custody.
“The mother and boyfriend are blaming each other for who harmed the child,” said Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, whose district includes Deer Island. “I got the impression it was deliberate.”
There are still many details missing in the death of Baby Doe. Investigators have not yet determined an exact cause or manner of death, although the pollen they found on the girl’s pants suggested that she was in the Greater Boston area when she died, KSPR reported.
“This pollen analysis also suggests that ‘Baby Doe’ may have been placed on the shoreline, rather than washed ashore from a great distance,” Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, said last month.
Police have not yet announced the charges against the parents of Baby Doe or announced whether Bella Bond was murdered or died by some other means.
[Image via Facebook/Rachelle Bond]