The bodies of three infants have been discovered in a shockingly filth-ridden home in Blackstone, Massachusetts, which is located approximately 50 miles southwest of Boston. In what can only be described as a horrific and disturbing course of events, the bodies of the infants were discovered after four other children were removed from the home by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Those children included a 6-month-old infant, a 3-year-old toddler, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old teenager. The four children were taken into state custody but after searching the home, authorities discovered the bodies of three infants whose deaths and remains had been concealed in the Blackstone home.
It has been reported that the DCF had not had any previous contact with the family living in the Blackstone house until they were alerted by a neighbor to the squalid conditions that the children were living in. Apparently, the 10-year-old child went to the neighbor asking advice on how to get a baby to stop crying. When the neighbor accompanied the child to the home, he found the crying baby in a bed contaminated by fecal waste, witnessed the additional disturbing conditions in the house and immediately called in a report.
Authorities have stated that the dead infants, whose ages and genders have not been released, were concealed in two of the home’s bedrooms. One infant, described as a “newborn” was found in the back of one of the bedroom closets. After authorities discovered the first body, a comprehensive search of the property revealed two more dead infants.
Erika Murray, the 31-year-old presumed to be the mother of all seven children involved in the case has been arrested and charged with fetal death concealment, substantial injury to a child and with witness intimidation. By some accounts, the charges also include animal cruelty. She is being held without bail and her attorney has entered a plea of “not guilty” on the premise that Murray may be mentally ill.
Massachusetts birth records were discovered for the two oldest living children, but not for the two younger living children, nor the dead infants. By some reports, there was also an unidentified man who may be the father of the children living in the basement of the home. He has currently not been charged in connection to the case.
One investigator reported that the 3-year-old child was in such poor condition that it could not walk and made unintelligible sounds. The 6-month-old infant showed signs of “not being used to seeing sunlight.” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has stated that the more he hears about the case, the more “upsetting it becomes.”
While the grisly discovery of three dead infants concealed in the house is horrific, perhaps even more disturbing is the state in which the four other children had been living. Before searching the home, authorities deemed it prudent to don Hazmat suits due to the amount of filth and vermin found in the home. Inside the home, they found foot-high stacks of dirty diapers, a rodent infestation, flies, household garbage and the skeletal remains of domestic pets including several cats and at least one dog. Neighbors report that the windows to the home were always closed with the curtains drawn, even on hot days. One neighbor reported that her grandchildren had said that the house “smelled bad” but she stated that no one was aware of the actual conditions inside.
The grisly discovery of not only the three dead infants but also the disturbing conditions in which the four other children were living has shocked community members in Blackstone. Massachusetts authorities are continuing to investigate the home and have not ruled out the possibility that they may discover more concealed infant bodies.
By Alana Marie Burke