Erika Murray, who was recently charged with covering up the deaths of three infants found in her squalid home, led a disturbing and dark double life, hiding her horrific secrets from her family and the father of her children.
On August 28, following the complaint of child crying in the house, police entered the 31-year-old woman’s home in Blackstone, Mass., and found a home infested with vermin, flies and piles of trash and dirty diapers, and four children, who were all subsequently removed and placed in the state’s foster-care system. The two younger children, both girls, a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old, showed signs of severe neglect.
When police returned with a search warrant they uncovered the remain of three infants in the home. Police believe they are all Murray’s biological children.
While Murray proudly posted photos on Facebook of her two older children, a 13-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, both who attended school, Murray kept her two young daughters a secret, hiding them from neighbors and relatives.
She allegedly told authorities that she was the mother of all four children, but never told her live in boyfriend, Ramon Rivera III, that he was the father of the two younger children. She told him that she was babysitting the younger children for a woman named Michelle. Murray created a fake Facebook page for Michelle with a photo of herself in a wig and glasses.
Her own parents, who live in Northbridge, only learned about the two younger children when the public did. An anonymous relative told reporters that Murray’s parents and other family members were never invited inside the home.
Murray told investigators that she hid her pregnancies by wearing loose-fitting clothes and gave birth to the two youngest children at home and that they had never seen a doctor. The Boston Globe reports that search of public records did not turn up a birth certificate for either of the two children.
A close high school friend, who asked not to be identified, told the Boston Globe that Murray first became pregnant at age 18. She said she had to persuade her to take part in her high school graduation ceremony as Murray was embarrassed to walk on stage while pregnant.
Rivera, Murray’ live in boyfriend. has been charged with growing marijuana in the basement of the house.
According to the Daily Mail, Rivera, 37, said he was in “complete shock” upon discovering that he was likely the father of all four children the authorities took from the home. He also claims to have been unaware of the second floor’s deplorable state as he said he often slept in the basement and there was a separate basement entrance that Rivera used.
It is reported that it took 90 hours to clean the home at an estimated cost of $25,000.
Murray was arraigned September 12 on charges that included fetal death concealment, witness intimidation and permitting substantial injury to a child, but questions remain.
A court-appointed defender is suggesting Murray is mentally ill.
"You want answers in circumstances like this. ... Mental illness doesn't always provide those kinds of answers," Murray’s attorney, Keith Halpern, told WCVB News. He did not elaborate on her condition.
Kalpern told The Associated Press that he’s hopeful tests will show the dead infants found were stillborn and not harmed or killed by his client.
In an earlier interview, he suggested Murray gave birth to her two youngest children because she was scared after Rivera told her he didn’t want anymore children. He said he wasn’t sure how much of the fear could be attributed to mental illness and how much was due to real-life concerns.
“Try to imagine the kind of fear and sort of loss of control over your life that would lead a woman to give birth to a child alone on the floor of her bathroom. That’s was she was going through,” said Halpern. “This terror just controlled her. She couldn’t figure out how to get out of the prison she created for herself.
“She is clearly mentally ill,” he said, “because the lengths to which she went to try to hide these children … no one in their right mind would have done this.”