Family friend reacts to discovery of infant remains

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. (WPRI) — A Blackstone woman was arrested Thursday after the remains of three infants were found inside her home, and a longtime friend of her family said she couldn’t believe the shocking allegations.

Erika Murray, 31, appeared in court Friday on charges including fetal death concealment out of wedlock, witness intimidation, and permitting substantial injury to a child.

The Worcester County district attorney called the condition of the St. Paul Street home where the deceased children were found “deplorable,” and said there were piles of diapers at least a foot high in some places.

Police said Murray lived at the home, but an address in Northbridge was listed for her in court documents. There was no answer at the door Friday, but a family friend who lived next door for more than two decades stopped by to see the suspect’s mother.

“I just know the family is wonderful, and the kids were always good,” said Barbara Jean Calnan.

Calnan said her children grew up with Murray and played together often, and her son even went to prom with her.

“Cute little dark-haired girl, cutest little thing when she was little,” Calnan recalled. “Her daughter looks just like her.”

Calnan said she couldn’t believe the accusations that have been made against her former neighbor.

According to the Department of Children and Families, there haven’t been any cases opened against Murray in the past. The agency said a report was received in 2007 but was unsupported, so the case was never opened.

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