Bella Bond’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend were indicted Friday in connection with the 2-year-old girl’s death earlier this year, PEOPLE confirms.
Rachelle Bond and her boyfriend Michael McCarthy were indicted on charges of accessory to murder and first-degree murder respectively. Bond also is charged with larceny for allegedly continuing to accept public assistance from the Department of Transitional Assistance after she knew of Bella s death, according to a press release from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Bella was found dead in a plastic bag dumped in Boston Harbor this past June. For months, she was unidentified, known only as “Baby Doe,” before a break in the case came in mid-September.
It’s believed that Bella may have been killed while being put to bed. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin previously alleged at a press conference that one night in late May, at around 11:30 p.m., Bella was unwilling to go to sleep and became “unruly.” McCarthy told Bond not to worry about it, that he would calm her down.
When Bella’s screams eventually stopped, 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.
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Bond’s friends were shocked to learn of the mother’s alleged involvement in her child’s murder.
“She was crazy about her daughter,” her friend Janely Acosta told PEOPLE in September. “I can’t believe she would do something to her child.”
Added another friend, Jarilyn Acevedo, who also met Bond at the shelter: “Bella was her everything. She took good care of her. Bella was always with her mom. That’s what shocked me so much. She seems like she was a good mother.”
Both Bond and McCarthy have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They are due back in court on Jan. 6.