Fitchburg rallies for 'proper' burial...

Fitchburg rallies for 'proper' burial of Jeremiah Oliver

Posted in the Fitchburg Forum

Since: Feb 10

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#1 Apr 24, 2014
FITCHBURG -- Mayor Lisa Wong and Pastor Thomas Hughes are asking the community to come together in support of giving Jeremiah Oliver a proper funeral and burial.

The body of the 5-year-old boy, missing since September, was found wrapped in a blanket inside a suitcase in a wooded area off of Interstate 190 southbound in Sterling Friday morning.

The announcement of Jeremiah's death last week brought pain to many who held onto hope that he would be brought home safely, Wong said in a Wednesday press release.

"Jeremiah is all of ours and we grieve as a community," Wong said. "The search for answers may take a long time, but in the meantime we ask for help in burying Jeremiah with his family."

Hughes, pastor of New Creation Community Church on Boulder Drive, will be officiating the service. He said he has been working closely with Jeremiah's family on the funeral arrangements, which are currently incomplete, because Jeremiah's body has not been released yet by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

"Everyone deserves a proper sendoff," Hughes said. "No matter how long the life, everybody deserves to be properly celebrated, properly serviced."

Funeral director Walter Taylor, of Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home in Fitchburg, told the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester that lawyers for Jeremiah's mother and her boyfriend -- both charged in connection with his disappearance -- have filed injunctions requesting that a private autopsy be done.

The remains are expected to be held until Tuesday to allow independent viewing by outside experts,

"We're waiting for him to be released from the medical examiner's office," he told the newspaper, adding that the funeral home is hoping for a May 3 funeral and burial that would cost about $8,400.

But Worcester Superior Court Judge James Lemire denied a second request from the defendants to have access to the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, and ordered that a state police officer be present during independent review of the body, the Telegram reported.

Hughes said the community has been outstanding in their support, and he is asking community members to help one more time by making a financial donation to ensure Jeremiah is given a proper burial and services.

"I can't say enough about the support of the mayor and the Police Department and the Fitchburg community as a whole," Hughes said. "They've been so supportive to this whole effort."

Donations may be sent directly to Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., Fitchburg, MA 01420. Checks should be made out to Masciarelli Funeral Home with Jeremiah Oliver in the note. Any funds raised over the cost of burial will be contributed to the Oliver Children's Trust Fund at IC Federal Credit Union.
Donna B

Revere, MA

#2 Apr 24, 2014
Thank you Stamos.

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