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Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Massachusetts State House boston A minimum wage increased passed on Wednesday for Massachusetts.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

The body of a missing Fitchburg boy who disappeared while his care was being overseen by a state child welfare agency was found off of a highway in Sterling on Friday, authorities said.

The body of a boy matching the height and weight of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver was found off of Interstate 190 on Friday, according to the Worcester district attorney's office. On Saturday, authorities positively identified the body as Oliver's, but said a full autopsy was not yet complete, according to the Globe. It was not immediately clear if the boy's mother and her boyfriend, already in jail, would face more charges.

Oliver's body was found Friday morning about 40 feet from the highway wrapped in a blanket and suitcase-like material, according to the Worcester district attorney's office.

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Oliver's disappearance, which wasn't reported until December although he hadn't been seen since September, sparked a criminal investigation and multiple examinations of the state's Department of Children and Families.

In January, Gov. Deval Patrick said the case was an opportunity to "rethink and reinvigorate" the state's child welfare agency. The state auditor released a report last month that highlighted management deficiencies at the agency.

Jeremiah’s mother, Elsa, was arraigned in December on reckless endangerment of a child and other charges. Her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, was also arraigned in December on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a child. Both remain in custody.

Three DCF employees have been fired since it was revealed that Oliver could not be found and the social worker assigned to his case hadn’t visited his family since April.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
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