crimesider

Officials: "Baby Doe," child found dead in Boston Harbor, identified

Last Updated Sep 18, 2015 2:48 PM EDT

BOSTON -- The child known as "Baby Doe" whose remains were found on an island in Boston Harbor has been identified after a long and exhaustive search, reports CBS Boston.

The station cites a report by the Daily Beast that the girl's name is Bella. Sources told CBS Boston the child's mother is Rachelle Bond of Mattapan. Bond's Facebook page shows she is the mother of a little girl named Bella, who celebrated her second birthday in August 2014.

Police are questioning people in custody in connection with the case, which has lasted nearly three months. Authorities have been in contact with some family members of the girl, a law enforcement source told the Associated Press.

Officials told the station that the investigation is still very active.

The girl's body was found in a trash bag June 25 by a woman who was walking her dog on Deer Island. Sources say one of the people being questioned has had contact in the past with police in Winthrop, a small city near Logan International Airport.

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An updated image of Massachusetts "Baby Doe," an unidentified child found dead on a Boston-area peninsula June 25
NCMEC

According to the station, Boston police got a tip about the girl and passed it on to state police, who then executed a search warrant at a home in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan on Thursday.

The station reports the girl is believed to have been about 4 years old. She had brown eyes and brown hair, weighed about 30 pounds, and stood about 3½ feet tall.

Investigators tested her DNA and appealed to the public for help in identifying the girl.Using photos of her remains, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a composite image of what the girl might have looked like when she was alive. Within two weeks of the discovery of her body, the image of the chubby-cheeked, brown-eyed girl had tugged on heartstrings around the world.

By early July, the image had been liked on the Massachusetts State Police Facebook page by more than 50,000 people and shared more than 615,000 times, reaching an estimated 47 million people.

Authorities set up an anonymous text line and were flooded with tips. The tips led authorities to check on the well-being of dozens of little girls but did not lead them to Baby Doe's family.

Despite the widespread publicity, investigators have been frustrated for months trying to figure out who she was and how she died. There were no obvious signs of trauma to her body. An autopsy performed by the state medical examiner's office did not immediately determine the manner or cause of her death, and there had been no substantial leads until Friday's announcement.

Police chased down tips from around the world, but experts determined pollen on the girl's blanket and leggings and in her hair came from trees found in New England.

A Massachusetts State Police spokesman told Crimesider in July it's likely the child was never reported missing -- raising the possibility that a family member or caretaker knows about her disappearance, but hasn't come forward because they may have killed the girl or disposed of her body.