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Squalid Blackstone Home Will Be Torn Down Oct. 21

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The squalid Massachusetts home in which three dead infants were found will be torn down later this month, officials in Blackstone said.

The town Board of Health on Tuesday awarded an $8,500 contract for the home's demolition starting Oct. 21. The job is expected to take two days.

The Blackstone home where the remains of three dead infants were found earlier this month. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
The Blackstone home where the remains of three dead infants were found earlier this month. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

"It is time to move on and put the community back in order," board Chairman William Walsh said. "I don't think the structure has gotten better; the smell has gotten worse."

The owner, Kristina Rivera, of Woonsocket, Rhode island, was notified Wednesday and has 10 days to respond. She can go to court to halt the demolition but so far has taken no action and did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

"Based on her involvement to date, I believe she has no intention to do a thing. ... She has abjectly refused to cooperate," town lawyer Patrick Costello said.

The remains were found in the house last month. Four other children ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years had been removed from the home in August, including two for whom no birth records could be located.

The children first came to the attention of police when a 10-year-old boy who lived in the house went to a neighbor and asked how to quiet a crying baby. The neighbor called police after noticing the conditions.

The house was infested with rodents and insects, piled high with dirty diapers and contained dead animals.

The town spent $20,000 cleaning out the home, which has been boarded up and fenced off. Town officials say Rivera will be held responsible for the cleaning and demolition costs.

The state medical examiner is performing autopsies on the infants' remains.

Former resident Erika Murray is being held without bail on charges including fetal death concealment and permitting substantial injury to a child. Her lawyer said she has mental health issues.

Rivera's brother, Raymond Rivera, who also lived in the home, has pleaded not guilty to drug charges for allegedly growing marijuana in the basement.

Both are due back in court Oct. 14.

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