Massachusetts woman Erika Murray is accused of killing two of her own children and neglecting others in one of the grisliest criminal cases in recent memory.
Murray pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, including murder, at her arraignment Monday, while prosecutors painted a horrifying picture of Murray's home.
Police reportedly found the bodies of three dead infants there in September. Four living children were removed from the residence following the discovery.
Assistant District Attorney John E. Bradley Jr. told the court that Erika Murray's three-year-old "could not walk or talk" and seemed essentially deaf.
"Pediatricians had to literally clean the maggots out of her ears so that she was able to hear correctly," he said, adding that she was "covered in feces."
A six-month-old was also found in a room next door that had "stacks of soiled diapers that were piled about a foot or so high," the prosecutor went on.
The body of one infant was found in a closet "wrapped in a pair of sweat pants," he said. "The baby still had the umbilical cord and the placenta attached to it."
Two other dead babies were found in closets. Erika Murray reportedly told police officials that one of the babies lived between 1-3 weeks before dying.
A 13-year-old and a 10-year-old taken from the Blackstone, Mass., home upon this horrifying discovery appeared to be unharmed. Physically, at least.
Authorities said Murray, 31, hid the babies from her live-in boyfriend Raymond Rivera, 38, because, for financial reasons, he did not want any more kids.
But the couple continued to have unprotected sex, and in turn, Murray became pregnant five times in seven years, which she tried to conceal from Rivera.
She delivered the infants alone in the bathroom, then took them upstairs "in an effort to hide the babies from her boyfriend," the Boston Globe reports.
Rivera claimed he had no idea about the state of the upstairs bedrooms, but it was revealed that he'd been sleeping "just eight feet" from the babies' remains.
He was arraigned as well on December 16, and faces seven charges, including two counts of assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury.
Murray has not been charged with murder for the baby found with the umbilical cord still attached. Her lawyer called the other murder charges premature.
"There is not a single case in Massachusetts that supports a conviction of murder on evidence so speculative and so weak," Keith Halpern stated.
He added that "The appropriate thing would have been to wait for the medical examiner's report to be completed" and that Murray's statements were inconsistent.
According to the attorney, his client "simply agreed with whatever they asked because it was her belief that if she went along with them she'd go home."
Murray is being held on $1 million bail pending trial.