Boston toddler Bella Bond :Rachel Bond,baby Doe’s mother arrested, boyfriend charged with murder

September 19, 2015 10:37 pm

 The toddler formerly refereed to as ‘Baby Doe’ has been identified as Bella Bond. Photo / WMTV

A mother has been arrested and her boyfriend is charged with murder
in the death of a little girl whose body was found inside a trash bag on
a Boston Harbor island this summer, a prosecutor said Friday, after a
monthslong campaign to learn the child’s identity.
Suffolk
District Attorney Daniel Conley said he authorized a murder charge for
Michael McCarthy, 35, and the girl’s mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, is under
arrest for accessory to murder after the fact.
“At just shy of
three years old, Bella Bond was a true innocent,” Conley said at a
conference announcing the charges. “This child, whose very name means
beauty, was murdered,” he said.
The girl was known as Baby Doe as
investigators launched a massive social media campaign to find out who
she was and how she died.
Police immediately appealed to the
public for help. 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.

Within two weeks, the image of the chubby-cheeked, brown-eyed girl had reached an estimated 47 million people on Facebook.
Photos of Bella posted on her mother’s Facebook page made it clear that she looked strikingly similar to the composite image.
Conley
said McCarthy was being treated at a Boston hospital for a medical
condition unrelated to the case. Both Bond and McCarthy are due to be
arraigned on the charges Monday.
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.

Rachel Bond, mother of Bella Bond, and her boyfriend Michael McCarthy. Photo / AP
Rachel Bond, mother of Bella Bond, and her boyfriend Michael McCarthy. Photo / AP
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.
Rhonda Mann, a spokeswoman for the Executive
Office of Health and Human Services, said the agency has been working
with law enforcement to help police identify the girl.
“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,” she said in a statement.
The girl’s body was found June 25 inside a trash bag on Deer Island in Winthrop by a woman walking a dog.
Despite
the widespread publicity, a text tip line and billboards with the
girl’s image, investigators were frustrated for months as they tried to
learn her identity. They got their big break after Boston police
received a tip and a search warrant was executed Thursday at Rachelle
Bond’s apartment.
Conley would not say specifically how her body
got to Deer Island, but implied that her mother placed her there. He
said evidence investigators uncovered led them to charge her with being
an accessory after the fact to murder.
Bond had a history of drug
and prostitution arrests. In 2006, she was arrested after a car she was
a passenger in was stopped for a traffic violation. When Bond got out
of the car, police noticed she was sitting on a syringe. She was charged
with possession of a hypodermic syringe.
In 2008, she was
charged in a sting operation with offering to perform sexual acts for a
fee on a male police officer posing as a john.
On Rachelle Bond’s
Facebook page, she appears to be a doting mother, posting numerous
photos of her daughter, who she calls “Bell” and “monkey.”
In a
posting on Aug. 18, 2014, Bond wrote: “My Bella loved her birthday party
and all the awesome things she got. Broke the bank on it but it’s all
worth it to see her happy and laughing and smiling. Love it.”
A
few weeks later, on Sept. 15, 2014, a photo shows Bella wearing a
tight-fitting, one-piece romper. “Look at my Bell,” Bond wrote. “The
outfit isn’t supposed to be a catsuit … Love her to death. I am on top
of the world because of her. My life is complete again and worth
living. I give her the world and more if I can…”
Conley would
not comment on how the girl died, but said more information may be
released when McCarthy and Bond are arraigned. There were no obvious
signs of trauma to her body.
Police chased down tips from around
the world, but experts determined pollen on the girl’s blanket and
leggings and in her hair came from trees found in New England.
Conley did not comment on a possible motive.

After three months, the washed up toddler found dead on a Boston
Harbor beach and known simply as Baby Doe has been identified as Bella
Bond – and her mother is in custody thanks to tip-offs from neighbors.
The
tragic girl has been named as two-year-old Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond,
the daughter of 40-year-old Rachelle Bond of the Boston neighborhood
Mattapan.
The mother and her boyfriend, 35-year-old Michael McCarthy, have been
arrested in connection with the Bella’s death. McCarthy is not the
girl’s biological father, a law enforcement source said.
McCarthy
faces a murder charge while Bond faces a charge of accessory after the
fact of murder. They are expected to be arraigned on Monday.

On Friday, a press conference was held where Speaker Robert
DeLeo confirmed that Bella is Baby Doe and that the two arrests have
been made.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said
during a later briefing that information on the cause of death will be
released on Monday, adding that her life ended ‘by violence in the place
she should have felt safest: in her home’.
‘We have a very good idea of what happened to her based on evidence,’ Conley said on Friday.
‘We have powerful evidence has provided a manner of death that we will be able to prove in court.’
Conley said a descriptive account of what happened to Bella would be released in a press conference on Monday.
The state medical examiner still has to confirm Bella’s identity through positive DNA testing.
‘The
men and women who investigated this case have given her her name back.
Now we will give her justice,’ Massachusetts State Police Col Richard
McKeon said.
DeLeo said Bond and McCarthy, who are in custody,
are blaming each other for Bella’s death. He also added that McCarthy
has drug issues.
Oh, my God, I can’t believe it,’ Tamera Bond added. ‘I thought the picture looked like Bella, but Bella was a little chubbier.’
Tamera Bond said the last time she saw Bella was nine months ago, in January.
Bella’s
grandmother, who did not want to be identified, told WCVB that she
didn’t know her granddaughter existed – she hadn’t spoke to her daughter
Bond in 14 years.
‘I think we maybe have to see our priest or
something because i don’t know what to do. This is shocking,’ she said.
‘I think it’s our responsibility to do something.’
A tip-off from neighbors brought the nearly three-month long search to determine the girl’s identity to an end on Thursday.
The
Boston Herald reported that Siomy Torres, who had lived in the Maxwell
Street building on the Dorchester-Mattapan line since June 2014, said
state police showed up at her home and started questioning her about her
neighbor’s daughter.
‘They told me they were looking for the little girl, and asked me if I’d seen her,’ Torres said.
She said state police showed her the composite picture of Baby Doe and she recognized it.
‘I
haven’t seen her in months. I usually hear her because her room is
against the backside of my apartment. I usually hear her crying or
running around the house and I haven’t heard that,’ Torres said. ‘I used
to see her every day. Running around.’
A DCF spokeswoman said it
had contact with Bella twice between August and December 2012 and June
and September 2013 on allegations of neglect, WCVB reported.
‘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,’ DCF spokeswoman Rhonda Mann said.
‘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.’
It was earlier reported on Friday that police were searching for Bond and McCarthy as persons of interest in the case.
Authorities
said they were able to match Bella’s identity with the clothes she was
found wearing when her body was found on Deer Island in Winthrop on June
25, according to the Daily Beast.
She was wrapped in a zebra-print blanket and was wearing black-and-white polka-dot leggings.
In
photos seen on social media, Bella is wearing a pair of black-and-white
polka-dot leggings, but Conley would not confirm if these were the
leggings she was found in.
Her body did not have fingerprints
when she was found due to erosion by the tide and investigators have not
determined a cause of death.
On Facebook, Bond posted several
photos of Bella as they cuddled, cooked together and the mother once
called Bella ‘My love, my soul, my life. My heart beats because she’s in
my world.’
In another post she wrote: ‘Love her to death. I am
on top of the world because of her. My life is complete again and worth
living. I give her the world and more if I can…’
On August 6,
2014, Bond made a post on her daughter’s second birthday saying ‘My lil
bell. It’s her b’day today. Happy birthday my sweetest thing ever…’
The last photos Bond shared of Bella on Facebook were on Christmas day last year.

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