Bella Bond was found dead in a plastic bag on June 25
Gruesome details emerged in the death of two-year-old Bella Bond on Monday at the arraignment of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend at Dorchester District Court. Bella’s mother’s boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, has been charged with her murder, while her mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Both pleaded not guilty.
For three months, authorities tried to identify the little girl known as “Baby Doe,” who in June was found dead in a plastic bag along a shoreline near Boston. The first break in the case came last Wednesday, when a male friend of Bond’s and McCarthy’s and the friend’s sister came forward to police, Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said at the couple’s arraignment.
That friend, who was not identified but who used to live with the pair and baby Bella at their Dorchester home, told police that he was walking with Bond last Wednesday when she told him that “she was glad she was able to stop using drugs.” The friend answered, “That’s great. You’ll be able to get Bella back,” according to Deakin. The friend, like most who knew Bella, had heard that the Department of Children & Families had taken her into custody earlier this summer. (This turned out to be false: Bella was not in DCF care in 2015, though she had been previously in 2012 and 2013, the agency said in a statement to PEOPLE.)
At that point, according to the friend’s statement, Bond burst into tears. “Ms. Bond broke down crying and said, ‘I’ll never see my daughter again,’ ” Deakin told the court. When the friend asked what she meant, “she responded, ‘Michael McCarthy killed her and I’m an accessory after the fact because I helped get rid of her body,’ ” Deakin alleged.
‘Baby Doe, Ring a Bell?’
The friend then texted McCarthy, who was in the hospital, to ask if what Bond had said was true. McCarthy allegedly replied that Bella was in the care of DCF: “That’s where she is – who you going to believe, me or [Bond]?”
But the friend was already suspicious, and called his sister and asked her to pass along the Baby Doe advisory: He had heard about Baby Doe, but hadn’t seen the computer-generated image of the dead little girl. When he saw it, he immediately noticed the striking resemblance to Bella.
He then texted McCarthy: “Baby Doe, ring a bell?” At that point, the friend’s sister called police to tell them what she knew. McCarthy, meanwhile, continued to deny that anything had happened to Bella.
On Thursday, the friend was interviewed by Massachusetts State Police, telling them that he’d moved out of the home because “he was appalled by their treatment of [Bella],” Deakin said. The friend told police he’d witnessed both McCarthy and Bond yell at Bella, and that he saw Bond spank her once.
But what concerned him most was that “both of them had on at least two occasions locked the girl in a closet for between 30 minutes and an hour while she screamed to be let out.”
The friend also told police that McCarthy believed Bella to be “possessed by demons.” McCarthy had, over the past couple years, “become very interested in the occult,” and claimed to be able to see demons and exorcise them, Deakin alleged. During a search warrant obtained for Bond and McCarthy’s home, cops found many books on demons and demonology.
‘She Knew at That Moment That Her Daughter Was Dead’
Deakin alleged that one night in late May, at around 11:30 p.m., Bella was unwilling to go to bed and became “unruly.” McCarthy told Bond not to worry about it, that he would calm her down.
Bella’s screams eventually stopped, so Bond went to check on her daughter. Deakin said that Bond entered the room to find McCarthy standing over Bella with her hand near her abdomen, and when she looked at Bella, her head appeared to be swollen and her face was gray.
“She knew at that moment that her daughter was dead,” Deakin said.
McCarthy was allegedly unconcerned that he’d killed the toddler. “She was a demon anyway, it was her time to die,” he purportedly told Bond.
McCarthy then allegedly wrapped Bella’s body in a bag and put her in the fridge. According to Deakin, Bond said McCarthy threatened to kill her if she said anything about what had happened. The two proceeded to become “intoxicated for several days after” Bella’s death, Deakin said.
Later, McCarthy allegedly took the bag that contained Bella to Boston Harbor and disposed of it. Bella was ultimately discovered inside that bag on June 25 by a dog walker. Authorities are still unsure of a cause of death, but natural causes have been ruled out.
‘You Won’t Last a Day in There’
Bella’s biological father, Joseph Amoroso, who sat in court on Monday and watched the proceedings, has claimed that Bond told him that McCarthy believed the little girl was possessed.
Amoroso, who never met Bella, told The Boston Globe on Sunday that Bond first told him of Bella’s death last week, several weeks after he came back to Massachusetts to try to meet his daughter for the first time.
At first, Bond pretended Bella was on Cape Cod, but eventually she admitted the truth: “Our daughter is dead,” Amoroso said Bond confessed to him. “The guy that’s been living in my house murdered our daughter.”
He told the paper he planned to contact police, but did not do so before the sister of the friend did.
Bond’s attorney, Janice Bassil, argued for bail of $250 and for Bond to be placed under house arrest, and said that Bond “has every incentive to appear in court.”
But Deakin said that Bond has “a lengthy criminal history,” including drug and prostitution convictions, and that her own parents have filed several restraining orders against her. He argued that letting her out of jail would open up “a very significant risk” that she would do harm to herself and others.
The judge agreed, setting Bond’s bail at $1 million. McCarthy is being held on no bail. Both are due back in court on Oct. 20.
As McCarthy was led away, Amoroso cautioned him, “You won’t last a day in there.”
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