(BOSTON) — A Massachusetts district attorney’s office said the Boston medical examiner has yet to offer an opinion in the alleged slaying of a toddler whose mother and boyfriend appeared today in court where the judge approved a second autopsy.
The state has ruled her death a murder, but no manner or cause of 2-year-old Bella Bond’s death has been determined, Suffolk County D.A. spokesman Jake Wark told ABC News Tuesday.
Bella was found dead in June on Deer Island, officials say. She was unidentified at the time and nicknamed “Baby Doe” as police spent months investigating her death. The case captivated the country and computer composites used in an attempt to identify her were viewed by millions.
In September, the girl was identified by police as Bella Bond, and Michael McCarthy, 35, was charged with murder, while the child’s mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, was charged as an accessory after the fact, authorities said.
Not guilty pleas were entered in September for both McCarthy and Bond.
McCarthy’s attorney Jonathan Shapiro said Tuesday that given no determination of manner or cause of death, the court’s approval today of a second autopsy, which he said is slated to be held before Bond and McCarthy’s next court appearance, is appropriate.
“We don’t know how or why she died,” Shapiro said after his client’s brief appearance Tuesday. Without that, Shapiro said, “the prosecution will have a hard time proving its case.”
Meanwhile, Bond, who appeared to be wiping at tears Tuesday behind the plastic glass that surrounds the prisoner’s docket, is “doing the right thing” and staying off drugs behind bars, her attorney Janice Bassil told ABC News.
“It’s hard,” Bassil said. “Very hard.”
Bassil said it’s unclear when Bella, whom authorities said was about 2 1/2 years old when she died, will receive a proper burial.
Bond and McCarthy’s next court appearance will be a probable cause hearing, set for Nov. 19.
Bond was held on $1 million bail while McCarthy was held without bail.
McCarthy and Bond have also been charged with improper disposition of a human body. Bond and McCarthy haven’t been indicted.
Prosecutors said in court in September that, on the night of Bella’s death, McCarthy went to the girl’s bedroom to console her.
When Bond went back to the room, she allegedly found McCarthy standing over Bella’s mattress on the floor. Bella’s head appeared to be swollen and gray, prosecutors said. Bond allegedly knew at that moment her daughter was dead, prosecutors said, and she asked McCarthy what he had done. McCarthy allegedly said the girl was a demon and it was her time to die, prosecutors added.
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