Baby Bella's mother, boyfriend charged in Boston toddler's killing
Michael McCarthy, a man arrested in connection with the death of Boston toddler Bella Bond, is alleged to have punched the 2-year-old because he thought the child was possessed, a law enforcement source involved in the investigation told CNN on Saturday.
It is unclear whether the punches killed the baby. McCarthy is the boyfriend of Bella's mother.
Bella's body was found a trash bag on a rocky shoreline in Boston Harbor in June, and authorities initially referred to her as "Baby Doe" because her identity was unknown until authorities received a tip this week.
A toddler found dead and known as Baby Doe now has a name -- Bella Bond. And police have arrested her mother and the woman's boyfriend.
Authorities found Bella's remains in late June in Boston Harbor, shocking residents who wondered what happened to the brown-eyed little girl with an angelic face.
Mystified authorities sought clues: Who was she? How did she die? Where were her parents?
And most importantly, why would anyone kill a baby?
New answers emerged Friday following charges against her mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, and her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35.
He was charged with murder; she was charged as an accessory to murder after the fact, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said.
McCarthy is not Bella's biological father, a law enforcement source said.
"This child, whose very name means beauty, was murdered," Conley said.
"The tragedy of her death is compounded by the fact that her short life ended not by illness or accident, but we believe by an act of violence in the very place where she should have felt safest, in her home."
He declined to comment on the motive or manner of death.
She wasn't 3 yet.
Bella Amoroso Bond was just shy of 3 years old.
"For nearly three months, we have endeavored to speak for a true innocent who could not speak for herself," State Police Col. Richard McKeon said.
"Now we will give her justice."
Complicating things, the couple pointed fingers at each other over her death, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo said.
"It appears as though it was a situation of a boyfriend who was involved and that apparently, I think, mother and boyfriend sort of blaming each other in terms of who harmed the child," he said.
Boston homicide detectives picked up the couple after they received "a critical tip" Thursday, Conley said.
McCarthy is in custody at a Boston area hospital, where he is getting treated for a medical condition; Bond is detained at a separate location, according to the law enforcement source.
The arrests came after a search on a Boston home Thursday.
The state Department of Children and Families said it provided services for Bella in 2012 and 2013 when she was an infant following neglect complaints. It did not provide specific details.
Between 2001 and 2006, child welfare authorities terminated Bond's parental rights over two other children, an agency official said. One is in custody of the maternal grandmother; the other was adopted by an unrelated family, the official said.
Authorities found the tiny remains on June 25 wrapped in a black trash bag. She was wearing polka dot leggings and lying next to a zebra blanket just east of Boston's Logan Airport.
Police released photos of the blanket and leggings.
Authorities previously said they believed that Baby Doe was about 4 years old at the time of her death.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released a composite of Baby Doe in July. It was distributed via social media, where more than 50 million people shared it.
"Baby Doe" has been identified as Bella Bond. The image on the left is a photo of Bella taken from Facebook, the one on the right is a composite image provided by police after her remains were found.
Pollen helped provide answers
It's unclear how long she had been dead, but there was some decomposition when her remains were removed from the trash bag.
Authorities analyzed pollen found on the girl's pants and blanket, and determined it came from trees and plants around Boston.
Investigators puzzle over clues in Baby Doe case
Bond and McCarthy are set to be arraigned Monday. Neither they nor their lawyers have commented.