Police have named a young girl whose remains were found three months ago in a rubbish bag on a Boston beach as Bella Bond.
The two-year-old’s mother and her live-in boyfriend are facing charges, said a district attorney.
Prosecutor Daniel Conley told a press conference the boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, was accused of murder.
The mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, is facing a count of being an accessory to murder after the fact, Mr Conley added.
Bond told investigators McCarthy punched Bella lifeless because he thought she was possessed by a demon, reports the Boston Globe.
Investigators told the newspaper the toddler was placed in a refrigerator after her death before her body was disposed of.
Both were arrested on Friday.
“It’s a beautiful name, Bella,” said the prosecutor, “and now we’re going to do our very best to speak for her.”
Bella, who was dubbed Baby Doe by investigators, was found by a woman walking her dog washed up on a Boston Harbor beach on 25 June.
A computer-generated image of the child was posted on billboards across the state and went viral.
Investigators were able to trace Bella to Boston by examining pollen gathered from her clothes.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) had investigated Bond’s treatment of her daughter twice before.
The authorities had contact with Bella for four months in 2012 and three months in 2013.
Both cases, described by officials as “support for neglect”, were later closed.
Between 2001 and 2006, the DCF terminated parental rights for two of Bond’s older children.
A tip gave Baby Doe investigators their big break and they executed a search warrant on Thursday at Bond’s apartment.
She has a history of drug and prostitution arrests.
Siomy Torres, who lives next door, told the Globe there were “always guys in and out of the house”.
“Half the time she was crying,” Ms Torres said of the little girl.
Another neighbour, Yessiomora Torres, told WCVB: “She (the mother) tried to be responsible, but she was on drugs.
“She talked slurred, she’d come out and smoke a cigarette, her daughter would be crying.”
On her Facebook page, Bond gave the impression of a doting mother.
In September last year she posted of a photo of Bella with a caption that said: “Look at my Bell … Love her to death.”