It is not yet known what caused 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver's death. Photo: File/Facebook
A judge has delayed the funeral of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver so that defense attorneys can carry out an independent autopsy, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
The Fitchburg boy's body was found Friday inside a suitcase off an interstate in Sterling, seven months after his disappearance. Oliver's funeral and burial were scheduled to happen this weekend, but Worcester Superior Court Judge James Lemire on Wednesday ordered that the services be postponed until May 3.
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.
Attorneys for Oliver's mother, Elsa, and boyfriend, who were both charged in connection with the child's disappearance, asked that the medical examiner hold Oliver's remains to allow the independent viewing by outside experts.
The pair face charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a child.
Community members are seeking donations to help pay for Oliver's funeral services, the Telegram reported.
If you want to donate:
Checks with "Jeremiah Oliver" in the memo section can be made out to Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., Fitchburg, MA 01420.
Additional funds will be donated to Jeremiah's siblings. Donations for his siblings can also be made directly to the Oliver Childrens' Trust Fund, IC Federal Credit Union, 300 Bemis Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420. For more information, call (978) 514-5828, the Telegram reported.