A girl found dead on a Boston beach in June, known until now as “Baby Doe,” was identified Friday.
Authorities confirmed the child was Bella Bond, 2-year-old daughter of 40-year-old Rachelle Bond. Rachelle and her boyfriend, 35-year-old Michael McCarthy, have been taken into custody in connection with Bella’s death.
“Oh, my God, I can't believe it,” Tamera Bond, Bella’s aunt, told the Boston Herald. “I thought the picture looked like Bella, but Bella was a little chubbier.”
Police solved the long-standing case thanks to a tip-off from a neighbor.
“They told me they were looking for the little girl, and asked me if I'd seen her,” Siomy Torres said.
Torres recognized Bella from a sketch police showed her.
“I haven't seen her in months,” Torres added. “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. I used to see her every day, running around.”
After Bella’s body was found in a trash bag by a woman walking her dog, a large campaign was launched to trace her identity, including an initiative on social media and a tip line members of the public could call.
“Since June, the Department has been working closely with law enforcement on exploring dozens of leads in hopes to identify the little girl found on Deer Island,” said Rhonda Mann, spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families (DCF). “Now that we know her name, the story is no less tragic. 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."
DCF’s previous involvement was related to allegations of neglect, according to the Daily Mail.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley confirmed Friday that McCarthy was being charged with the murder of Bella, while Rachelle faced an accessory-to-murder charge, the Boston Herald reported.
“This child, who's very name means beauty, was murdered," Conley said. "At just shy of three years old, Bella Bond was a true innocent.”
Bond and McCarthy are due in court Monday.