BLACKSTONE, Mass. – The squalid Massachusetts house in which the skeletal remains of three dead infants were found last month was to be torn down.
The Board of Health in the city of Blackstone ordered the demolition, which was to begin Tuesday and was expected to take two days.
Erika Murray, the woman who lived in the house with four children and her longtime boyfriend was being held on $1 million bail on charges including fetal death concealment. She has pleaded not guilty.
Murray's lawyer Keith Halpern said last week that she appears to have mental health issues. He said Murray told him the dead infants were born starting about eight years ago and at least one was born alive and lived a few days before she found the child dead in a bassinet. The state medical examiner has not determined how old the babies were or how they died.
Murray's other four children, ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years, were removed from the house in August. Authorities found the infants' remains in a more thorough search a few weeks later.
The house was piled high with dirty diapers and infested with rodents and insects, authorities said. Workers in hazmat suits spent days cleaning out the house, now fenced off and boarded up. The city spent $20,000 on the cleanup and about $8,500 to take it down.
The house is owned by Kristina Rivera of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the sister of Murray's boyfriend Raymond Rivera. She has had no comment and city officials say she has not responded to them.
Raymond Rivera has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he grew marijuana in the home's basement, where he lived.