The lawyer for a Massachusetts woman arrested after the bodies of three infants were found in her home said Sunday that he's optimistic that forensic testing will show the babies weren't born alive, and therefore weren't harmed or killed by his client.
Erika Murray, 31, was charged Friday with fetal death concealment and other counts after authorities found the bodies in her squalid, vermin-infested home in Blackstone, a town near the Rhode Island border and about 50 miles southwest of Boston. A medical examiner is determining whether the remains were newborns or fetuses, and how they died.
Two weeks ago, state officials took custody of Murray's four children, ages 6 months to 13 years, after discovering the dirty conditions of the home -- which prosecutors and neighbors said included soiled diapers piled up 2 feet high and the remains of several animals. Authorities found the bodies of the babies last week after getting a search warrant.
Murray's lawyer, Keith Halpern, told The Associated Press that he's hopeful the tests will show the dead infants were stillborn. He also expects DNA testing to show that Murray and her longtime boyfriend were the parents of the infants.
Halpern told The Boston Globe in an earlier interview that Murray secretly gave birth to her two youngest children because she was scared, after her boyfriend told her he didn't want any more children after their first two. He told the newspaper Murray tried to conceal from her boyfriend the fact that the two youngest children were hers, and apparently told him she was babysitting them.
Halpern told the AP that Murray was fearful during the five pregnancies, including the ones of her two youngest children and the dead infants. He said it's wasn't clear to him how much of the fear was attributable to the mental illness he believes Murray has and how much was due to real-life concerns.