A young girl whose body washed up on the Boston Harbor shoreline in June and whose identity had remained a mystery ever since was finally identified on Friday as Bella Bond. The case became a national story—and the toddler became known as Baby Doe—after investigators continued to go an unusually long amount of time without discovering who the child was.
Police hadn’t officially released the name of the mother or her whereabouts as of Friday afternoon, but Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo confirmed the identity of the child was Bond, the Boston Herald reported.
“The mother and the boyfriend started blaming each other in terms of who harmed the child,” DeLeo said. When asked by reporters, he said that he was under the impression Bella had been the victim of “intentional” harm.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker confirmed the baby’s name was “Bella” and that the state’s Department of Children and Families child welfare agency had investigated the family in 2013 when she was an infant.
More from the Boston Globe:
“Now that we know her name, the story is no less tragic,” said [Department of Children and Families] spokeswoman Rhonda Mann. “DCF has not had an open case with this family for over two years, but did have brief involvement with Baby Bella as an infant.”
In August 2012, a case was opened for support for neglect, but after services were provided, the case was closed in December. Another neglect case was brought in June 2013 but closed in September 2013 after support was provided.
She also confirmed that Bella’s mother had had two other children taken away from her between 2001 and 2006. Both of those children were adopted by her own mother, DCF said.
Police investigators on Thursday questioned a neighbor of Bella’s mother, who identified the missing girl was Bond after being shown a composite photo of Baby Doe.
“I haven’t seen her in months. I usually hear her because her room is against the backside of my apartment. I usually hear her crying or running around the house and I haven’t heard that,” the neighbor, Siomy Torres said. “I used to see her every day. Running around.”
Torres said she had assumed that the child had been taken by child welfare services.