Bella's mother, Rachelle Bond, and her mother's boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, have been charged in the girl's death

By Tara Fowler
Updated September 22, 2015 10:05 AM
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On Monday night, hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil on the beach where Bella Bond‘s body was found in a plastic bag nearly three months ago.

Authorities struggled to identify the toddler known only as “Baby Doe” for months before a break in the case finally came last week. Bella’s mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, and her mother’s boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, have been charged with accessory to murder and murder respectively. Both pleaded not guilty on Monday.

Various state and local Massachusetts officials were in attendance for the vigil, including Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

“Your memory is going to live on,” DeLeo said, according to WCVB. “It’s going to live on because you are so deeply loved by so many.”

Added Gov. Baker: “My first reaction when this news originally broke about a child with no identity and no name found here in Winthrop was, ‘My God. What must have her life have been like?’ ”

Prosecutors said Monday that Bella’s short life was marked by violence. A friend who lived with the family for a short time and who ultimately helped identify Bella told police that he’d moved out of the home because “he was appalled by their treatment of her,” Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said at Bond and McCarthy’s arraignment.

The friend also 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,” Deakin said.

McCarthy, prosecutors allege, killed Bella because he believed her to be possessed by demons. “She was a demon anyway, it was her time to die,” he purportedly told Bond when she discovered her daughter was dead.

Mourners previously gathered on the Deer Island beach back in July when Bella was still unidentified.

“I was afraid she’d be forgotten,” Debbie Larson, that vigil’s organizer, told NECN at the time.

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