The biological father of a 2-year-old girl identified almost three months after her remains were found in a trash bag that washed up on a Boston-area beach says he believes the mother’s boyfriend caused the girl’s death.
Joseph Amoroso said in interviews with WHDH-TV and the Boston Herald on Saturday that Rachelle Bond told him her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, killed Bella Bond. Amoroso said he believed Rachelle Bond.
McCarthy, 35, is charged with murder and Bond, 40, as an accessory after the fact. Both were charged on Friday after authorities executed a search warrant Thursday on Rachelle Bond’s apartment. They are to be arraigned on Monday.
McCarthy is currently hospitalized for abscesses in his arms due to heroin use, an official with knowledge of the investigation told The Boston Globe.
"I know with all my heart that Rachelle Bond would never, ever do anything to hurt anybody," Amoroso told the station. "I was with the woman. This is the mother of my child."
Amoroso told The Boston Globe that after spending the day with Rachelle Bond, she told him the awful truth.
“Our daughter is dead,” Amoroso, 32, says Bond confessed to him. “The guy that’s been living in my house murdered our daughter.”
Amoroso also said Bond told him that McCarthy killed their daughter because he was convinced she was possessed by a demon. The little girl had died weeks before her body was found on a beach on Deer Island by a woman walking her dog.
Amoroso said he has been in Florida and returned to Massachusetts in August. He said Bond stayed with him in Lynn, Massachusetts on Thursday night and he was questioned Friday.
He told the Boston Herald that he and Bond connected in a tent at Occupy Boston and broke up after he discovered she had been arrested for prostitution. He said that when she told him the circumstances of their daughter’s death, “She was very emotional, sincere through the whole thing, and I believe her.”
"Somewhere in my heart I'm going to have to find forgiveness," Amoroso told WHDH, "and that time will come."
Amoroso told the Globe he wasn’t part of the girl’s life, but occasionally talked to Rachelle Bond by telephone. When they spoke, he said, Rachelle Bond would slur her words and he believed she may have been on drugs. He also said he didn’t take part in the girl’s life because he had to “straighten a couple things out.”
The Boston Globe, citing court records, reports Amoroso has an eight-page criminal record in Florida that dated back to 2000 and includes drug-crime convictions and resisting an officer with violence.
A composite image of the unidentified girl, widely known as Baby Doe during the investigation, was viewed by millions before authorities identified the girl on Friday. Her body was found June 25 on a beach by a woman walking a dog. Investigators caught a major break in the case when a search warrant was executed at Rachelle Bond’s apartment on Thursday.
"At just shy of three years old, Bella Bond was a true innocent," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said at a news conference announcing the charges. "This child, whose very name means beauty, was murdered."
Rachelle Bond’s sister, Tamera Bond, of Gardner, Massachusetts, told QBZ-TV that she had been following the case but had no idea the child was Bella. She said she last saw Bella and her mother in January.
"I saw the picture but she looked like any brown-eyed baby, cute little girl," Tamera Bond said. "The cheeks of Bella were much chubbier."
Tamara Bond said her sister has had a troubled life, and she wishes Rachelle had reached out to her for help.
Court records show Rachelle Bond had a history of drug and prostitution arrests.
Officials from the state's child protection agency said they had contact with Bella twice, for four months in 2012 and three months in 2013. In both cases, officials described the involvement as "support for neglect," and the cases were later closed.
Between 2001 and 2006, the Department of Children and Families terminated parental rights for two of her mother's older children. One of the children was later adopted by her maternal grandmother; the other was adopted by someone outside the family, DCF officials said.
Investigators have not publicly speculated on a motive or a cause of death in Bella's case, saying more will be disclosed at the arraignments on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.