DA Confirms Body Found is Missing Fitchburg Boy

Update (April 19), 4:35 p.m.: The Worcester County District Attorney’s office has identified the body found off of I-190 as Jeremiah Oliver, according to NECN.

The autopsy is not complete, but the DA’s office has made the identification, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Original story: A body found this morning off of Interstate 190 in Sterling has the height and weight “consistent with that of Jeremiah Oliver,” the 5-year-old Fitchburg boy who has been missing since September, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early said at an afternoon press conference.

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Early said the clothed body was found “about 40 feet off the roadway” and in a “wrapped condition” inside the packaging of a “suitcase-like object.”

The family of Jeremiah Oliver has been notified, including the child’s father, Early said.

Early said he had not spoken with the mother, Elsa Oliver, and her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, who were charged in connection with the boy’s disappearance and are currently being held on high bail.

A joint effort by area law enforcement is conducting a “thorough canvass of the area” and the “case is being heavily worked,” Early said.

04/18/2014 STERLING, MA Police investigate the scene where a body of a child believed to be Jeremiah Oliver (cq) was discovered early this morning on the side of I-190 South in Sterling. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Police investigated the scene in Sterling.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Early described the location where the body was found as being next to the area where the grass is cut along the highway.

When asked by a reporter, Early said it was likely a driver would have had to pull over to see the body, but declined to say how exactly officials were led to find the body in that particular location.

An autopsy has been scheduled for today to help identify the child’s body, which appears to be the victim of a homicide, Early added.

WCVB first reported:

The medical examiner was called to a wooded area in Sterling on Friday in connection with the investigation of the disappearance of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy who is presumed dead, sources told NewsCenter 5's Kathy Curran. The search was centered on an area off Interstate 190 in Sterling, where a body was found, sources said. The area is about 13 miles from Fitchburg, where officials are investigating the disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver.

A law enforcement official told the Boston Globe that the body of a child, found on a slight embankment 35 to 40 feet off the road in an area of tall grass, may be that of Oliver.

WBZ tweeted a helicopter photo from the scene:

Oliver disappeared in September, but officials did not learn he was missing until Dec. 2 when his 7-year-old sister told school counselors she hadn’t seen her brother in weeks, according to the Boston Globe.

Three people charged with lying to investigators and a grand jury regarding Jeremiah Oliver’s whereabouts appeared in court on Tuesday, according to the Lowell Sun. Their next hearing is scheduled for June 5.

In addition, three state Department of Children and Families employees were fired stemming from the case, and Gov. Deval Patrick weighed in on the need for improvements at the agency.