Watch CBS News

Mother Of 2 Kids Found Dead In Freezer Charged With Child Abuse

DETROIT (WWJ) - Charges have been filed against a Detroit mother after the bodies of two of her children were found in a freezer in the family's east side apartment.

As the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office awaits autopsy results on the two young victims, 35 year-old Mitchelle Blair has been charged with five counts of first degree child abuse.

Further charges are expected as Detroit Police Chief James Craig said his department is investigating the case as a double homicide.

Authorities were called to the low-income apartment complex on St. Aubin Street on Tuesday as part of a court-ordered eviction. While Blair was not at home, the bodies of her daughter, Stoni Blair,  and son, Stephen Berry, were discovered wrapped in plastic in a stand-alone freezer.

Prosecutors believe that when the children died, the girl was 13 years old and her brother was 9.

Blair's two other children, ages 11 and 17 — now in protective custody — were unharmed, but knew their dead siblings were inside the freezer, according to reports.

Pastor Barrack Coleman, Junior of Diverse Deliverance Church of God in Christ, was among those stopping by the family's apartment Tuesday.

He said there are a lot of unanswered questions.

"For a kid to be missing three years, where's the grandparents? Where's the father?" Coleman asked. "Where's the concerned pastor, the concerned teacher?"

All of Blair's children were apparently home-schooled, which is why Detroit school officials said they were not looking for the kids.

Some neighbors told WWJ they hadn't seen the children in over a year, while others reportedly admitted Blair had told them she'd killed the kids awhile back.

It's unclear if, or why, no one had notified police prior to the bodies' discovery.

[Detroit Mother Kept Children's Bodies In Freezer For Years After Murders; Neighbors May Have Known]

Samantha Williams, another resident at the Martin Luther King apartments, is shocked by this case.

"The person I knew had a beautiful spirit," Williams said. "I don't know what happened that made things change, you know, but she was a good person. She was a good person...I don't know."

Craig, at a news conference earlier Wednesday, urged the public and the media to "be mindful of the surviving two children" who have "been through a lot."

Blair is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning.

Autopsy results could be delayed due to the frozen condition of the bodies.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.