Police acme to Murray's home in 2014 after her son's friend told his mom two babies wouldn't stop crying

By Chris Harris
June 21, 2019 03:26 PM
Erika Murray
Rick Cinclair/Worcester Telegram & Gazette via AP

A 35-year-old mother who was arrested in 2014 after a search of her squalid Massachusetts home turned up the decaying remains of three newborns was acquitted of second-degree murder on Thursday.

PEOPLE learns from a prosecution spokesman that Superior Court Judge Janet Kenton-Walker also acquitted Erika Murray of child endangerment charges, but found her guilty on two counts of assault and battery on a child.

Murray will be sentenced July 11.

Earlier this month, one of the two charges of murder she’d been facing was dismissed, as medical examiners could not determine the baby was born dead or alive.

She was never charged in connection with the third baby’s death. It was unclear how and when the infants died.

According to court records, authorities removed four children from Murray’s house, including a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old. None of the woman’s friends or family knew of the children.

Police were summoned to Murray’s home on Aug. 28, 2014, after her 10-year-old son’s friend told his mother about two babies that wouldn’t stop crying.

After a visit to Murray’s filthy home, the boy’s mother called police, who searched the residence, finding the three dead newborns in two closets.

One, according to court records, was still attached to an umbilical cord and a placenta.

The other two were dressed in baby clothes and fitted with diapers.

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Court records show Murray told investigators she did not think she and her boyfriend, Raymond Rivera, 42, could afford to care for more children.

Murray’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

Rivera was charged with assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury, and reckless endangerment of a child. He has pleaded not guilty, and is awaiting trial on those charges.

His lawyer was also unavailable to speak Friday.

PEOPLE obtained a statement from Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., who characterized the case as “very hard … with a very difficult set of facts as it always is when dealing with children who are victims.”

The statement adds: “We appreciate all the time and effort the judge put into her decision in this case. The court has spoken.”

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