Brutal baby killer?
The news shocked the US… Washed up on the shore of Deer Island, Massachusetts, was a plastic bag. And inside was the body of a 2-year-old girl.
Investigators believed she’d not been dead for long.
But the body was so badly decomposed and bloated from the water, it was impossible to identify her.
The little girl became known as Baby Doe.
Over the next few weeks, investigators appealed to the public for information. Over 200 missing children were ruled out as Baby Doe.
A digital image was even constructed of what she may have looked like.
Investigators soon believed the child had been killed by a family member. Why else hadn’t she been reported missing?
Weeks turned to months and still Baby Doe hadn’t been identified. Then, finally, in September 2015 there was a breakthrough. A woman came forward reporting a link between Baby Doe and a child named Bella Bond, 2. She knew a neighbour of the Bond family, who was concerned they hadn’t seen the child for some time. Soon, Bella was confirmed as the unidentified girl. Suspicion fell on her mother Rachelle Bond and boyfriend Michael Mccarthy. It was reported they were both drug addicts. The couple were arrested and questioned. But they both had different tales to tell… Mccarthy denied having anything to do with Bella’s death. He claimed Bond had told him the little girl had been taken away by the authorities. It was believable, considering Bond and Mccarthy’s druggy lifestyle. But Bella’s mother claimed she saw her partner Mccarthy strike Bella in the abdomen, killing her. Bond alleged Mccarthy threatened to kill her, too, and sedated her for days with heroin. Apparently, he put Bella’s body in a plastic bag and stored her in the fridge. Scared for her life, Bond then helped him dump Bella’s body in the water. This February, as part of a plea deal to testify against Mccarthy, Bond, 41, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact of murder, and to larceny, as she’d collected
Why hadn’t she been reported missing..?
her girl’s child benefit after she’d died.
In May, Mccarthy faced the court, charged with first-degree murder.
He stuck to his story – but, as agreed, Bond testified against him.
She claimed Bella wouldn’t sleep that night in June 2015, so Mccarthy had gone into her room to settle her.
When she heard silence, Bond went to check on the pair.
And then, she claimed, she saw Mccarthy repeatedly punching tiny Bella in the abdomen.
She told the court she attempted CPR, but it was too late.
When asked why she never went to the police, Bond answered that she was scared.
Mccarthy allegedly strangled her into unconsciousness and injected her with heroin to keep her docile.
Apparently, Mccarthy then continued to intimidate Bond, forcing her to help dump the child’s body in the water before it drifted to Deer Island, where it was found.
Bond told the court that Mccarthy was obsessed with the occult and seemed to believe Bella was possessed.
Bond told the court that, after killing Bella, Mccarthy said, ‘She just died. It was her time. She was a demon.’
But Mccarthy’s defence argued against this. They said it was Bond herself who was obsessed with demons.
And, they said, it was her who’d killed Bella, saying her testimony was a ‘web of lies.’ Mccarthy’s defence lawyer said the story was ‘a gruesome figment of her imagination’. He argued that Mccarthy wasn’t even living at the apartment at the time of Bella’s death, had moved out after witnessing Bond’s ill treatment of her daughter. And, according to his lawyers, Mccarthy didn’t even know Bella had died until the couple were arrested. His defence also challenged Bond’s claims that Bella was beaten to death – an autopsy didn’t indicate any signs of the injuries Bond had described. Bella’s body was so badly decomposed it wasn’t possible to determine exactly how she’d died.
Mccarthy’s defence also used text messages and journal entries made by Bond after Bella’s death.
In them, Bond still referred to Mccarthy affectionately, calling him her soulmate.
Not the behaviour of a distraught and terrified mother, they claimed.
It was also reported that, around the time of Bella’s death, Mccarthy was partially disabled, having broken his collarbone during a seizure.
And his defence claimed he was good with Bella.
‘When she got scared of monsters, he told her to “blow their heads off with love”,’ his lawyer said.
Bella’s biological father Joseph Amoroso testified at the trial. He claimed Bond met him two days before her arrest and told him Bella was in a ‘safe place’.
But, the following day, she’d confessed that Bella was dead and said she was fearful she’d go away for a long time for knowing what’d happened and not saying anything.
So was Rachelle Bond telling the truth?
Had Michael Mccarthy really murdered tiny Bella and intimidated his girlfriend into helping him cover up the death of her own child?
That crucial question was for the jury to consider as they headed into their deliberations…
She claimed Mccarthy punched tiny Bella
After a 15-day trial, it took the jury more than 23 hours to find Michael Mccarthy, 37, guilty – but of the ‘lesser’ conviction of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life, with the possibility of parole in 20 years.
His lawyer indicated that Mccarthy planned to appeal, maintaining Bond was the true killer, saying, ‘An innocent man is going to prison for the rest of his life for a crime she committed.’
This July, after serving nearly two years in prison since her arrest, Rachelle Bond was told she wouldn’t serve any extra time. She was sentenced to two years probation and would enter a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse upon her release.
Mccarthy in court It was said the couple were both drug addicts BOND: Was she ? intimidated
BELLA BOND: Innocent victim