The girl known as “Baby Doe” — who in June was found dead, wrapped in a trash bag on a rocky shoreline in Boston Harbor — has been identified as Bella Bond, a law enforcement source said Friday.
Rachelle Bond, the girl’s mother, and her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, have been arrested in connection with the death, the source said. The charges against them were to be announced later Friday.
McCarthy is not Bella’s biological father, according to the source.
The case of the mysterious girl, whose adorable brown eyes and cherubic face — as rendered by forensic artist Christi Andrews and distributed by authorities in Massachusetts — caught the attention of millions.
The couple was picked up after Boston homicide detectives received a tip Thursday, the source said.
McCarthy is in custody at a Boston-area hospital and Bond is being held at a separate location, according to the source.
The arrests came after a search warrant was executed in Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood, the source told CNN.
There is a brief case history with the girl
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office told CNN that the “investigation remains very active” but that it had no update to share.
The state Department of Children and Families was briefly involved with Bella as an infant, but have not had a case with the girl’s family in more than two years, according to department spokeswoman Rhonda Mann.
“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,” Mann said in a statement. “Now that we know her name, the story is no less tragic … Our thoughts are with Bella’s extended family as the investigation into her death continues.”
Remains were found in bag along shore
The tiny remains were found June 25 wrapped in a black trash bag, wearing polka dot pants lying next to a zebra blanket along the shore of Deer Island, a narrow peninsula just east of Boston’s Logan Airport. Police released photos of the blanket and the polka-dot leggings she was wearing.
Authorities previously said they believe that “Baby Doe” was about 4 years old at the time of her death. She was 3 feet 6 inches tall and weighed about 30 pounds.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released the composite of Baby Doe in July. Massachusetts State Police posted it on Facebook and distributed it via Twitter.
More than 50 million people saw or shared the composite.
It’s unclear how long she had been dead but there was some decomposition when her remains were removed from the trash bag.
Authorities analyzed pollen found on the girl’s pants and blanket and determined that it “came from trees and plants around Boston,” Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, said last month.
“This pollen analysis also suggests that ‘Baby Doe’ may have been placed on the shoreline, rather than washed ashore from a great distance,” Wark said.