Detroit Children Found in Freezer Died of Blunt Trauma, Autopsy Finds

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/ Source: NBC News

The deaths of two Detroit children whose bodies were found in a freezer this week were caused by "multiple blunt trauma" and were ruled homicides, the medical examiner said Friday.

Investigators believe they were killed by their mother and hidden in the freezer for at least two years.

The children were identified as Stoni Ann Blair, 13, and Stephen Gage Berry, 9, after officers made the grim discovery of their bodies Tuesday morning while carrying out an eviction notice at the home.

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Their mother, Mitchelle Blair, 35, was arraigned on five child abuse-related charges Thursday, although prosecutors said other charges were pending based on the results of the autopsy. Wayne County prosecutors said Blair confessed to the killings.

Investigators told NBC affiliate WDIV that Stephen had been scalded with hot water, beaten and choked before his death, which is believed to have occurred in August 2012. His body was found underneath his sister's inside the freezer, police said.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, which had to wait for the bodies to thaw, said Stephen also suffered unspecified "thermal injuries."

Stoni's face and shoulders were scarred, and she was also beaten and strangled, WDIV reported. She is believed to have died in May 2013.

Blair has two other children, a 17-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son, who were placed with other family. A vigil was planned for Friday night at the apartment complex where the siblings lived.


— Erik Ortiz