WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A woman has been indicted on two murder charges after the skeletal remains of three babies were found in her squalid home in September, a district attorney announced Tuesday.
Thirty-one-year-old Erika Murray. Murray has been held on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to earlier charges including fetal death concealment. Her attorney has said she has mental health issues.
Murray’s attorney, Keith Halpern, said Tuesday he’s disappointed prosecutors decided to upgrade the charges. “There’s no evidence that she did anything to cause the death of any of these infants,” Halpern said. “There’s no evidence of how they died.”
Murray’s four children, ranging from 5 months to 13 years old, were removed from the house in Blackstone in August and placed in state custody. Prosecutors said the 5-month-old and a 3-year-old were found covered in their own feces and had been severely neglected.
Police later searched the house and found the babies’ remains in bedroom closets.
Also Tuesday, Murray’s boyfriend, 38-year-old Raymond Rivera, who lived in the house, was charged with child abuse and neglect related to the two younger children. Prosecutors said DNA showed he is the father of all the children.
Rivera pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a child, two counts of reckless endangerment of a child, two counts of animal cruelty and one count of illegally growing marijuana. His bail was set at $100,000.
Rivera had said he lived in the basement and had no idea what was going on in the rest of the house, but a prosecutor said at his arraignment that Rivera slept with Murray every night in a room near where the younger children were.