DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit woman has been charged with murder one week after two of her children were found dead in a freezer in her low-income apartment home.
Mitchelle Blair, 35, is charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of torture, four counts of first degree child abuse, and one count of committing first degree in the presence of another child.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Injured In Eastpointe Accidental Shooting; Gun Safety Instructor Says Lock Up Your Guns
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the amended charges Wednesday.
Authorities were called to the Martin Luther King, Jr. apartment complex on St. Aubin Street on March 24 as part of a court-ordered eviction. That’s when the bodies of Stoni Blair and Stephen Berry, were discovered wrapped in plastic in a stand-alone freezer.
Prosecutors believe that when the children died, the girl was 13 years old and her brother was 9.
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The Wayne County Medical Examiner said autopsies showed Stoni and Stephen both died of multiple blunt force trauma; and in Stephen’s case, burns.
According to court records, Blair’s surviving children — who reportedly had scars from past abuse, in addition to current welts and other injuries — told police that their mother tied a belt around Stephen’s neck, threw hot water on him and put a plastic bag over his head in August 2012. They claim Stoni was struck by a two-by-four and hit with a hot curling iron before her death in May of 2011.
Police are investigating reports that friends and neighbors knew the children were dead.
“The alleged facts in this case present examples of why we must all be diligent and involved citizens. A good way to protect society’s children is to be alert and look out or your neighborhood youth, refuse to look the other way, and report what you know when necessary,” said Worthy, in a statement.
“Even though we are issuing these charges today, this tragic case remains under investigation.”
Blair will be arraigned on the amended charges at the probable cause hearing at for Thursday, April 2, before Judge Kenneth King.MORE NEWS: 5-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Self In Foot At Eastpointe Home
She faces mandatory life in prison if convicted on the murder charges.