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Child's Body Found In Sterling Positively Identified As Jeremiah Oliver Of Fitchburg

WORCESTER (CBS) – The body found Friday off Route 190 in Sterling has been positively identified as Jeremiah Oliver, the Worcester County District Attorney's office reported Saturday.

Officials said the autopsy report is not complete and there was no information provided on the cause of the 5-year-old Fitchburg boy's death.

At a Friday press conference, Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early told reporters the body was discovered "wrapped in a blanket-type object" in a "suitcase, duffle bag-type material" about 40 feet off the road around 9 a.m. He said at the time that "it appears to be a homicide."

Jeremiah had not been seen since September 2013 but he was not reported missing until December.

A Worcester County grand jury indicted his mother Elsa, 28, and her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, 23, last month on several charges in his disappearance, including kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and reckless endangerment.

Both are being held on high bail. Three other people are charged with interfering with a criminal investigation and misleading police.

Jeremiah's father, Jose Oliver, told the Boston Globe, "I don't feel relief. I'm disappointed."

The case led to scrutiny of the state Department of Children and families, which was handling the family's case.

Three DCF workers were fired and a fourth was disciplined in connection with the boy's disappearance.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Jeremiah Oliver," DCF Commissioner Olga Roche said in a statement Saturday.

"The Department is grateful for the dedication of the district attorney and law enforcement partners leading this investigation and will continue to assist in any way we can. DCF continues to focus on caring for Jeremiah's siblings to ensure they are receiving the support they need during this very difficult time."

DCF officials said the Oliver siblings are in foster care.


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