Ross A. Atstupenas
Chief of Police
15 St. Paul St.
Blackstone, MA 01504
For Immediate Release
Friday, September 12, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Blackstone Police Charge Local Woman After Horrid Living Conditions Found at Home
Children Taken into DCF Custody
BLACKSTONE — Police Chief Ross Atstupenas announces that the Blackstone Police Department yesterday arrested a local woman and charged her in connection with the deplorable and dangerous living conditions found at her home at St. Paul Street.
ERIKA MURRAY, AGE 31, OF BLACKSTONE, will be arraigned later today in Uxbridge District Court
Blackstone Police originally responded to MURRAY’S home on August 28 for a well-being check after concerns were raised about crying children heard in the home. Responding officers found the interior of the home to be in a state of squalor, with garbage, debris, and dirty diapers stacked over a foot high in places, and an out of control rodent and pest infestation.
Four children, between the ages of 13 and under 1 year old were found living in filth. The Department of Children and Families was immediately called in on an emergency basis and took custody of the children.
State records showed that the two oldest children were MURRAY’S and she was summonsed to court on neglect charges. However, no birth records existed for the two youngest children.
The house was condemned, and police began an intensive investigation investigation.
As detectives progressed with their investigation into the youngest children, police sought warrants to search the home. An officer, investigating the interior of the home on Wednesday afternoon, located the body of what appeared to be a newborn baby, tucked into the back of a closet in one of the rooms of the house.
Yesterday, the Blackstone Police Department worked with the Office of Worcester District Attorney and Regional Hazardous Materials Teams dispatched by the Department of Fire Services and State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan to further investigate the home.
The investigation is ongoing, but official last night found two additional human bodies, believed to have been newborn babies. The skeletal remains of several animals, including cats and a dog, were also found inside.
MURRAY was arrested yesterday afternoon at a family member’s home in Northbridge. She has been additionally charged with:
- Fetal death concealment out of wedlock
- Witness intimidation
- Animal Cruelty
- Two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child
Any other charges that may be pending would be announced by the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.
“This has been a trying, difficult week for our investigators and for the residents of Blackstone,” Chief Atstupenas said. “This is not the kind of thing anyone would expect in our community or in any other place for that matter. I want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as this investigation has unfolded. Our priorities are to ensure that the four children are safe and to make sure justice is served going forward.”
After MURRAY is arraigned this morning, further media correspondence regarding the investigation and charges should be directed to the Office of the Worcester District Attorney.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.