Joseph Amoroso, 32, never met Bella, but he told The Boston Globe on Tuesday that she will be laid to rest in his family’s plot.
“I have a family plot, and that’s where she’ll be buried,” Amoroso said. “Right next to her great-grandmother.”
Amoroso also told NECN: “It only feels right to have Bella buried with her family.”
A spokesman for the Town of Winthrop confirms to PEOPLE that Bella is expected to be buried there, but could not say when. Her body is still being held at the Massachusetts State Medical Examiner’s office.
Bella was found dead on June 25 on Deer Island in Winthrop. For months, authorities struggled to identify the little girl known only as “Baby Doe” before a break in the case came last Wednesday.
Amoroso has said that he believes it was fate Bella was found on Deer Island that day. “Bella’s body was washed up on Deer Island on June 25, which is my grandmother’s birthday,” he told NECN. “Winthrop is where the Amoroso family grew up, it is where we were all raised. Bella made it home to her family.”
Bella’s mother’s boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, has been charged with murdering her, while her mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on Monday.
On Wednesday, police executed a search warrant at the home where Bella was allegedly killed, PEOPLE confirms, removing the mattress she slept on and the refrigerator where her body was allegedly stored for a long period of time following the murder.
It’s believed that Bella may have been killed while being put to bed. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin alleged Monday 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.
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.
Bond is now in custody detoxing from heroin, while McCarthy is on suicide watch, a high-ranking Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department official told PEOPLE. They are due back in court on Oct. 20.
A spontaneous memorial to Bella has grown outside the little girl’s childhood home, with neighbors leaving balloons and stuffed animals, as well as lighting candles in the girl’s name.
• Reporting by MICHELE MCPHEE
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