The toddler who was found dead on Deer Island in Boston Harbor in June 2015 has finally been identified as Bella Bond. She was killed just shy of her third birthday. In response to her death, little Bella’s mother Rachelle, and her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, have been arrested.
Coincidentally, on the day she was identified, a memorial had been scheduled for Bella on Deer Island.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Mother Threw Her an Extravagant 2nd Birthday Party
On August 18, 2014, Bond posted a video to her Facebook page of a birthday party she had for Bella. The clip shows the floor filled with balloons and gifts. Bond tells her daughter “Come on, monkey. Look what Mama did while you were sleeping.” In the caption for the video, Bond wrote “My Bella loved her birthday party and all the awesome things she got. Broke the bank on it but it’s all worth it to see her happy and laughing and smiling. Love it.” It was to be Bella’s last birthday.
2. Bella Bond Was Found Stuffed in a Plastic Garbage Bag
Authorities still don’t know Bella Bond’s cause of death. When she was found, her body had no visible signs of trauma. On top of this, medical examiners found no traces of toxins, such as bleach in her body. Bella had been wearing a pair of polka dot leggings when she was found. She would appear on her mother’s Facebook page wearing these leggings.
3. Her Mother Was Arrested on Drugs Charges in 2011
On her Facebook page, Bond constantly posted photos of her doting on Bella. She writes in her “About” section, “Honesty is the best policy. I’d rather hear it from you then someone else. And don’t ask me questions you don’t want the honest answer to.” Bond adds that she’s single. Among her “Likes” are the Stoner’s Cookbook and Social Security Disability Benefits. In June 2011, Rachelle Bond was arrested in Boston for possession of a class E drug with intent. A friend of Bond’s, Dora Enright, wrote on her Facebook page upon hearing about Bella being identified “If you don’t want you’re child give them up there’s nothing wrong with that don’t kill them . If you’re boyfriend killed her or you shame on you you could of given me Bella.” In response to that comment, another person wrote about Bond “She was a hooker in Fitchburg and a heroin addict.”
4. Her Mother Had Just Started Dating Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy is referred to as Rachelle Bond’s “new boyfriend” in WHDH’s report. The station adds that she and McCarthy went “voluntarily” to speak with police on the morning of September 17 and that Bond had another boyfriend who had been in Bella’s life. Siomy Torres told the Boston Globe that “the woman’s most recent boyfriend had arrived at around the same time the child disappeared.”
5. In the Past, Cases Like This Have Pointed to Boyfriend’s of the Mother
In an appearance on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show on July 10, former America’s Most Wanted host and founder of the National Center for Missing & Exploited children, John Walsh, spoke extensively on the case of Baby Doe. He said that in similar cases, the investigations usually pointed to the “live-in boyfriend” or that the girl may have been “accidentally killed or starved to death.” Walsh then pointed out that a possible reason that nobody went to the authorities about her death was because “people do not want to talk to cops” because they don’t want authorities digging into their lives.