BOSTON — A Massachusetts judge Tuesday granted a defense motion asking that it be allowed to conduct a second autopsy on 2-year-old Bella Bond before the girl’s mother and her boyfriend appear at a probable cause hearing next month.
Judge Lisa Grant also approved the prosecution’s request that Rachelle Bond continue to be held on $1 million bail in what became known as the “Baby Doe” case, while her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, remains ineligible for bail. The probable cause hearing is scheduled for November 19.
Bond and McCarthy made their second court appearance Tuesday in Dorchester Municipal Court. Standing behind a glass partition, McCarthy was cleanshaven, while Bond used her hair to shield her face in the courtroom. Neither spoke during the hearing.
The boyfriend allegedly killed Bella Bond because he thought the child was possessed and “it was her time to die,” a prosecutor told a judge during the September bail hearing at which McCarthy and Bond both pleaded not guilty.
‘I’ll never see my daughter again’
In September, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney David Deakin explained how a woman walking her dog found the child’s body June 25 in a plastic contractor bag on a rocky shoreline in the Boston Harbor. Inside, authorities found the girl alongside two blankets, Deakin said.
A lifelong friend of McCarthy’s, Michael Sprinsky, told authorities that the pair had said the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families had taken the girl, Deakin said. The department had terminated Bond’s parental rights over two other children in the past, an agency official told CNN.
Sprinsky was walking with Bond one day when Bond told him that she had recently quit using drugs. When Sprinksy suggested she might be able to get Bella back now that she was clean, Bond broke down in tears, Deakin said, relaying Sprinsky’s account.
“I’ll never see my daughter again,” Bond allegedly told him before explaining that McCarthy had killed Bella and that she had helped McCarthy dispose of the body, according to Deakin.
It’s unclear exactly how the toddler died, but Deakin in court in September raised the possibility that she may have been suffocated, noting there was no evidence of trauma.
The medical examiner has ruled out all natural causes for the child’s death, the prosecutor said. The criminal complaint against McCarthy states that Bond told police McCarthy killed Bella by “punching her in the stomach until she stopped breathing.”
Couple blame each other
McCarthy, 35, is charged with murder and unlawful disposition of human remains. Bond, 40, is charged as an accessory to murder after the fact.
The mystery of the girl with big brown eyes and cherubic face captivated the nation for months.
Bella Amoroso Bond was just shy of 3.
“For nearly three months, we have endeavored to speak for a true innocent who could not speak for herself,” State Police Col. Richard McKeon said soon after the girl’s remains were identified as Bella Bond. “Now we will give her justice.”
After their arrests, the couple pointed fingers at each other over her death, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo said.
“It appears as though it was a situation of a boyfriend who was involved and that apparently, I think, mother and boyfriend sort of blaming each other in terms of who harmed the child,” he said.