FITCHBURG, Mass. (AP/MyFoxBoston.com) - The funeral of a 5-year-old Massachusetts boy found dead last week after being missing for months is being delayed so pathologists for the defense can examine the body.
A judge Wednesday gave the defense until Monday to complete an examination of the body of Jeremiah Oliver of Fitchburg.
Jeremiah, whose family was being monitored by state child welfare officials, had not been seen since September but was not reported missing until December. His body was found near Interstate 190 in Sterling last Friday. His mother and her boyfriend are facing charges in connection with his disappearance, but not his death.
The body is in the custody of the state medical examiner pending an autopsy.
Jeremiah's father Jose said he's not happy with the judge's decision, but has no choice but to comply. The funeral has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, May 3.
Meanwhile, the family is working to raise funds to have a proper funeral and burial for Jeremiah. The funeral director of Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home in Fitchburg told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that all expenses will cost an estimated $8,400.
Because of the boy's size, the funeral home had to order a specialty casket that cost $750. He will also be buried at Hope Cemetery in Worcester, where the burial fees are high, the director said.
Church leaders and Fitchburg's Mayor Lisa Wong has encouraged the community to make contributions to help Jeremiah's family bury the child properly.
Checks with "Jeremiah Oliver" in the memo section can be made out to Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., Fitchburg, MA 01420.
Any money raised in excess of funeral costs will be donated to Jeremiah's siblings. Donations for his siblings can also be made directly to the Oliver Childrens' Trust Fund, IC Federal Credit Union, 300 Bemis Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420. For more information, call (978) 514-5828.