Cleanup crews working at Blackstone ‘house of horrors’

The house on St. Paul Street has been fenced off and condemned. (Corey Welch/WPRI)

BLACKSTONE, Mass. (WPRI) – Exterminators and cleaners returned Saturday to a home in Blackstone where investigators say they found the bodies of three infants this week.

The crews were working to try to clean up the squalid home on St. Paul Street, two days after it was condemned.

Town Administrator Daniel Keyes said exterminators were fumigating the home early Saturday afternoon, and several hours later a cleaning company is expected to empty the home. It has been surrounded by temporary fencing and locked up, and remains in the custody of the town Board of Health.

Keyes said that the various expenses are all being billed to the home’s owner and not the town.

Last month, investigators removed four children, ages 13, 10, 3 and six months, from the home and placed in state custody after neighbors complained about their living conditions. Wednesday, police made an initial search of the home and found an infant’s body, prompting them to return in force Thursday clad in hazardous-materials gear. They found the bodies of two other infants and reported that the house was full of flies, bugs and used diapers.

The resident, 31 year-old Erika Murray, was arraigned Friday on several charges including fetal death concealment out of wedlock, witness intimidation, animal cruelty and two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child.

Murray was held without bail after her court appearance.

It’s still unclear if the three deceased infants were her children; the medical examiner is still working to determine their genders and causes of death.

According to Blackstone’s Police Chief, Murray is the mother of the two older children who were taken from the home, but there are no birth records on file for the younger two.

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