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Mother of missing Fitchburg boy held without bail


FITCHBURG, Mass. ( -- The mother of a 5-year-old boy last seen by relatives in September was held without bail following a court appearance Tuesday.

Elsa Oliver, 28,was arraigned in Fitchburg District Court on charges that include reckless endangerment of a child and accessory after the fact of assault.

Investigators said Jeremiah Oliver was last seen by relatives on Sept. 14. Officials said they were notified that Jeremiah was missing on Friday after the boy's 7-year-old sister told a teacher she hadn't seen her brother in months.

During the arraignment, Oliver's attorney said he can't communicate or talk to his client  and is incapable of helping her.

Oliver was reluctant to be in the courtroom, but was brought in anyway. A doctor said Oliver has a history of substance abuse and is "suspicious and guarded" as well as "irritable and angry." The doctor said Oliver believes people have been poisoning her.

She was taken to Worcester Recovery Center to be evaluated.

An investigation led to charges against Oliver and her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra, 22.

Sierra was arraigned Monday on two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife).

The 22-year-old also faced two counts of assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury in connection to an incident with Jeremiah and his 7-year-old sister. He was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing.

The district attorney's office said the case could be treated as a potential homicide.

Oliver's two other children are now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families. Jeremiah's father lives in Hartford, Conn.

The Boston Globe reported the Mass. Dept. of Children and Families had fired a social worker involved in the case.

Jeremiah is described as 40 inches tall, weighing 40 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone who may have seen him or has any information about him is asked to call 508-832-9124 or 978-345-9648.

A prayer vigil will be held for Jeremiah in Fitchburg on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., at 276 Kimball St., across from the boy's home.