The funeral for Jeremiah Oliver will have to wait until at least May 3. A judge ordered Oliver’s body held so defense experts could conduct an independent exam, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Oliver’s body was found on the side of I-190 in Sterling late last week. The five-year-old had been missing from his Fitchburg home since September. His mother, Elsa Oliver, 28, and her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, 22, both of Fitchburg, face kidnapping, child endangerment, and other charges in the case. They have not been charged with Jeremiah’s death. Three other defendants are also facing charges in Jeremiah Oliver’s disappearance, according to the Telegram.
The court ordered the body held so the defense can perform an independent autopsy, the Telegram reported.
Worcester Superior Court Judge James Lemire filed two separate orders Wednesday in reference to motions to preserve evidence filed by the boy's mother's and her boyfriend's lawyers. The medical examiner must hold Jeremiah's remains until Tuesday to allow three separate experts for the defendants time to independently view his body and the medical examiner's findings, including histological slides (tissue samples), X-rays and photographs.
The examination of the body by those experts must be completed no later than Monday, the orders say.
Additionally, the orders say that any physical evidence found with the boy's body be made available for review at a later date.
The judge’s order requires a state police officer to be present during the independent examination. The defense has until April 29 to examine the body, and the funeral is tentatively scheduled for May 3, according to the Telegram.
Oliver’s family, meanwhile, is asking for community donations to help pay for the $8,400 funeral. Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home Director Walter Taylor told the Telegram that he had to order a smaller casket for Oliver, which cost $750.
From the Telegram:
Checks with "Jeremiah Oliver" in the memo section can be made out to Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., Fitchburg, MA 01420.
Any money raised in excess of funeral costs 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.