The former boyfriend of a 5-year-old boy’s mother has been charged with murder in the death of the child, who was found in a suitcase next to a Massachusetts highway in 2014.
Jeremiah Oliver was found dead in April 2014 in Sterling on Interstate 190, although he was last seen alive in September 2013 and not reported missing until Decemer.
Alberto Sierra Jr., 32, was indicted on charges murder and disinterring a body, The Sentinel and Enterprise reported, quoting the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.
The AP said the family was under supervision by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Familes at the time the boy was found dead. Before the boy was found, an investigation uncovered that the department hadn’t visited the home in months despite multiple reports of abuse and neglect.
Three employees were later fired, and the department commissioner resigned as a result of that report.
Jeremiah’s death wasn’t ruled a homicide until February 2016, when the state medical examiner said he died from “homicidal violence of undetermined causes.”
Sierra was convicted in 2017 of assaulting the boy’s mother, Elsa Oliver, and two siblings. He was sentenced to up to seven years in prison. Elsa Oliver also pleaded guilty that same year to assault and battery and reckless endangerment related to her other children. She was sentenced to more than seven years in prison Both were released in 2020.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
[Featured image: Jeremiah Oliver/Fitchburg Police Department]