Body found near highway identified as missing boy, 5

WORCESTER, Mass. — A body found off a central Massachusetts highway has been positively identified as that of Jeremiah Oliver, a 5-year-old boy who was missing for months before police were alerted.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s announcement on Saturday wasn’t surprising: One day before, Early had said the body wrapped in a blanket and stuffed inside a bag matched the height and weight of Jeremiah.

Still, how he got there and even how he died is still unknown. The district attorney did not detail a cause of death Saturday, explaining the child’s autopsy is not yet complete.

Jeremiah Oliver

Jeremiah Oliver

The case raised questions about the state’s role as it relates to Jeremiah’s care, with Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche admitting that there had been “a serious failure.”

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Jeremiah Oliver,” Roche said Saturday. “DCF continues to focus on caring for Jeremiah’s siblings to ensure they are receiving the support they need during this very difficult time.”

In March, Jeremiah’s mother, 28-year-old Elsa Oliver, and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Alberto Sierra, were indicted by a grand jury on charges related to Jeremiah’s disappearance as well as on charges of child abuse. Calls to the attorneys for both were not immediately returned Friday.

The district attorney’s office did not speculate Saturday on whether they might face additional charges now that Jeremiah has been confirmed dead.

The last documentation of state authorities’ interaction with Jeremiah was in May 2013, according to Department of Children and Families spokesman Alec Loftus.

In June, Loftus said, the social worker was told that Jeremiah had moved to Florida to live with his grandmother but did not follow up or verify that.

The last visit to the home was in November, when the social worker left behind a business card indicating it would be the Department of Children and Families’ final visit, according to Loftus.

On December 2, Jeremiah’s 8-year-old sister told counselors at her elementary school that her mother’s boyfriend, Sierra, had abused her, according to a police affidavit.

After those statements, the girl and another brother were taken into protective custody, according to the affidavit.

It was in December that authorities realized that the boy was missing.

Roche fired the social worker and supervisor assigned to his case because they did not conduct the required in-person, monthly checks on the family, according to a statement released that month.

20 comments

  • FaithC

    Was the father here legally? If so, then I am so sorry about the death of this little boy. My Christian heart weeps as God lifts him up into his arms as he cries and covers the boy in all his perfect goodness that only He as God Almighty is capable of.

    • Chrissy

      So, if his father is in the US illegally, then you are not sorry that this innocent child lost his life? I think the better question might be how is that the father did not realize that the child was missing. That could be due to a lack of parenting on his part, or it could be that the mother denied contact to the father. So, maybe at sunrise service tomorrow your good christian weeping heart can ask God Almighty to forgive you.

    • Patricia G

      FaithC, How can you only care if the father were he legally? What kind of a person are you? If you have children, they have my heart felt sympathy, if you are their only example of a good Christian.

  • Unique

    This breaks my heart, may this baby boys soul RIP, and the other children find loving people to care for them. And the parents need to be prosecuted to the fullest. Stop the madness this is sick.

    • Proudmommyof2

      thats what i thought too…what difference does it make what his status in this country is…a poor little boy was murdered.

  • Angie

    @FaithC….you are what give Christians a bad name!! A Christian heart wouldn’t care if the father was here legally or not! He is a human being and he lost his son!! May that precious baby rest in the arms of Jesus and my prayers to his father and other members of his family.

  • Metanekisha Hogan

    Lord ….. I just don’t understand why someone would do this to an innocent baby he’ll never get to experience life he was robbed of life whoever done this shall be punished

  • saramatablog

    Wow…I don’t even know what to say…first you got this hateful idiot Christian worried about legal status….do you think God created national boundaries, you idiot? Aside from that, I agree with Trisha – God is either not real or he is directly responsible, because he did nothing to stop it, but to say that this poor baby does not deserve pity if his father is illegal….makes me wish there were a Hell for you to burn in.

  • Kara

    God gave us free will, to chose as we wish. He is not forceful or invading upon our life. Satan roams the earth and tempts humans and they have free will to choose who to follow, and what actions they take. All evil comes from the devil. All good comes from God. The humans are to blame here, they made the choice to commit such an evil act. May the Lord welcome this little angel that has returned to him. Vengence is God’s and he will have it.

  • UmmmReally???

    I want to know why he is automatically Latino??? Why can’t he be a Indian or something… The kid is just brown I see no flashing signs saying Latino boy over here

  • John Davidson

    NOTE: Read the articles before passing judgment. His name is Alberto Sierra, so I think it is safe to assume he is Latino. There is a concern to whether he is illegal. We must know who is in this country. Does he have a history of abuse? The only way we can stop nut jobs of other countries from exploiting our children and systems, is to know who they are before allowing them into this country. We have enough nut jobs here already. Stop making this a religious or race issue. There is a child that will never see adulthood. Grieve, and then focus your energy’s on how we stop the next incident.

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