After nearly three months with no name, the toddler whose body was found on the shore of Deer Island in late June has been identified, and her alleged killers arrested.
On June 25, a woman walking her dog on Deer Island in Winthrop discovered a toddler’s body washed ashore in a trash bag and called police.
A week later, police and the Suffolk district attorney’s office released a composite image of the child, dubbed “Baby Doe” by investigators and the media. They also released photos of the polka dot leggings she was found wearing and a blanket placed in the bag with her.
Investigators followed up on hundreds of tips, tracking down leads to countries as far away as Peru. Despite the computer-generated image of Baby Doe reaching roughly 60 million people, and investigators’ use of advanced forensic techniques to identify where she came from, the toddler remained unidentified until mid-September.
After receiving a tip, investigators executed a search warrant on a Dorchester apartment late Thursday night, Sept. 17. The next day, police arrested Rachelle Bond, and Rachelle’s boyfriend, Michael McCarthy in connection with the murder of Rachelle’s daughter Bella.
In a news conference that afternoon, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said:
Her name was Bella.
Based on interviews and evidence recovered pursuant to multiple search warrants during the past 24 hours, the child we knew as Baby Doe has been identified as Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond. She was about two and a half years old when she died, and a resident of Dorchester.
McCarthy, 35, is charged with Bella’s murder, and Bond, 40, is charged with accessory after the fact.
At the suspects’ arraignment on Monday, Sept. 21, Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said Rachelle Bond told detectives that Michael McCarthy killed Bella one night in late May after she would not go to sleep. Bond reportedly told police that McCarthy said he would quiet her down. When Bond went to check on them, she reported seeing McCarthy’s hand on Bella’s stomach, and Bella’s face red and swollen.
McCarthy reportedly called Bella a “demon,” and said, “It was her time to die.”
The pair allegedly stored Bella’s body in a refrigerator for a few days, before dumping the child in the harbor in South Boston. Investigators have reportedly removed a refrigerator and other items, including a mattress, from the home on Maxwell Street in Dorchester.
A judge ordered Bond held on $1 million bail. McCarthy is being held without bail.
Bella’s biological father Joseph Amoroso, who never met the little girl, told the Boston Globe that Rachelle Bond told him about Bella’s death about a week before Bond was arrested, but neither contacted authorities.
“Amoroso said he was sickened by what he had learned and that he and Bond talked about whether they should go to the police or FBI. They never did,” the Globe reported.
Amoroso will not be charged, according to Boston.com.
State Police have jurisdiction over the case. Both McCarthy and Bond will next appear in Dorchester Municipal Court for a probable cause hearing on October 29.