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Work Of DCF Employee Involved With Bella Bond Case Being Examined

Gov. Charlie Baker says the state will investigate previous work done by a child welfare agency employee who worked with the family of Bella Bond, the 2-year-old who was found dead on Deer Island in June.

A report released this week from the state's Office of the Child Advocate found that Department of Children and Families employees gathered minimal new information after allegations of abuse or neglect were filed against Bella's mother, Rachelle Bond, in 2012 and 2013.

Bella Bond, in an undated photo (Courtesy Massachusetts State Police Facebook page)
Bella Bond, in an undated photo (Courtesy Massachusetts State Police Facebook page)

Instead, workers largely copied information from years-old assessments regarding complaints against Bond over the care of her two older children — whom she lost custody of in 2001 and 2006.

"The information appeared in the assessments as if it were current, when it was years old making it very difficult for the reader to determine whether the information was current or old," the report said.

Baker said Friday that the unidentified worker could be disciplined, depending on the findings of the investigation.

"If there's any kind of a pattern here we want to make sure there aren't other cases associated with the work that was done by that particular person that we need to review further," he said.

The report released Wednesday blasted the DCF, saying the agency closed the two abuse and neglect cases concerning Bella prematurely and failed to accurately assess Bond's ability to parent.

The report said the fact that Bond had previously lost custody of her two other children should have prompted more scrutiny of her ability to parent following reports of abuse or neglect against Bella.

Known as "Baby Doe" for nearly three months, Bella's body was found on the shore of Deer Island in June and was identified in September only after Boston police received a tip.

Bond, the girl's mother, and Bond's boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, are facing charges related to Bella's murder.

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