The following is a transcript of Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s remarks on the case of Bella Bond.
Her name was Bella.
Based on interviews and evidence recovered pursuant to multiple search warrants during the past 24 hours, the child we knew as Baby Doe has been identified as Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond. She was about two and a half years old when she died, and a resident of Dorchester. Pending DNA comparisons are still necessary for scientific certainty, but we are extremely confident in this identification.
85 days ago, Bella’s body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island. We hoped against hope that her death was not a crime, but the evidence carefully and professionally gathered by the men and women with me today suggests otherwise – this child, whose very name means beauty, was murdered.
In light of that evidence, I have authorized the arrest of MICHAEL PATRICK McCARTHY, age 35, for Bella’s murder. McCarthy is currently hospitalized for a medical condition unrelated to this case.
Bella’s mother, RACHELLE DEE BOND, age 40, has been placed under arrest as an accessory after the fact to her murder.
Based on the facts and evidence developed thus far, which are consistent with the Medical Examiner’s findings, we allege that McCarthy caused Bella’s death, that he did so intentionally, and that he and Bond took specific steps to keep Bella’s death a secret and avoid prosecution.
We expect both defendants to be arraigned in Monday in Dorchester Municipal Court.
At just shy of three years old, Bella Bond was a true innocent. And the tragedy of her death is compounded by the fact that her short life ended not by illness or accident but, we believe, an act of violence in the very place she should have been safest – her home.
Sadly, this is the case for too many victims of child abuse whose tiny voices are silenced. But we will speak on her behalf and seek justice for the crime that took her life.
The men and women with me today left no stone unturned toward that end. Assistant District Attorney David Deakin, the chief of our Family Protection and Sexual Assault Unit; Colonel Richard McKeon, Det. Lt. Jack Lannon, and the Suffolk County State Police Detective Unit; and Chief Terence Delehanty and the detectives of the Winthrop Police Department.
I want to thank the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their non-stop assistance and contributions to the case.
And I especially want to thank the Boston Police Department. Homicide detectives received the critical tip that led to a marathon of investigative work over the past 24 hours that brought us to this point.
I want to thank you, the media, as well, for covering the search for this child’s identity so faithfully. Every step we took as investigators was magnified and enhanced by the work that reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers put in. The same goes for everyone who linked, shared, or tweeted our calls for assistance – we could never have knocked on 50 million doors, but we had the equivalent of that reach thanks to social media.
But I also want to note that this isn’t then end of the case – it’s the beginning. And in deference to the rules of criminal procedure, we are sharply limited in what we say at this early stage, before the defendants have even been arraigned. I ask you to bear this in mind because there’s a great deal we can’t say at this point, but before we take any questions I’d like to give Col. McKeon, Chief Delehanty, and Commissioner Evans a chance to speak.