Autopsy: Children found in freezer were murdered

"Multiple blunt trauma and heat related injuries."

Those were the causes of death for Stephen Berry, 9,  and his sister, Stoni Blair, 13, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's report, released Friday

Their mother, 35-year-old Mitchelle Blair, who admitted to torturing them and killing them, remains behind bars. She has been charged with five felony counts of child abuse, although prosecutors expect murder charges soon.

"She should be charged to the max," said family friend Tori Childs. "If it's supposed to be life without ever seeing the light of day, so be it."

The children's bodies were hidden away for years and discovered Tuesday morning inside Blair's east side apartment dining room freezer. 

Stoni, wrapped in a garbage bag, on top of Stephen, who was wrapped in his favorite blanket underneath. Sources say Stoni had cuts on her head and body.  Stephen had burns from being put in scalding water.

"How do you just hold your baby down in some hot water, how could you?" said Tracey Dorsey, Stoni's aunt.

Blair claimed to police that she became enraged catching the children sexually abusing their younger brother. According to court papers, she choked Stoni with a T-shirt and Stephen, with a belt sources say -- starving and beating her children for weeks before killing them.

"No excuse at all, no excuse whatsoever," said Meldanaldo Murchison, who stopped by the makeshift memorial outside the family's townhouse.

As Blair's two surviving children, 17 and 8 years old are staying with their great aunt, new court documents state that the abuse they also endured lasted years as Blair's 17-year-old daughter described being hit in the face with a 2-by-4, burned with an iron, her tooth knocked out with a curling iron.

Her brother was whipped with an extension cord leaving 25 scars. The most horrific, the teen describes being forced to put her younger sister inside that freezer.

"I can't imagine," Childs said. "It has to be something so horrible. So horrific that she had to do that."

A family friend and neighbor, Childs recalls the teen coming over recently and appearing nervous and afraid.

"She used to keep her head down," Childs said. "She couldn't look anyone in the eye. She can't talk to them. Her words were real short and when she stood she  ... was shaking or biting her nails."

Now as friends, neighbors, an entire community mourns the loss of Stoni and Stephen, they have planned a vigil Friday night, many hope this tragedy will prevent another.

"We need to pray and heal," said Mary Sheffield, Detroit city councilwoman. "And take action and highlight some of things we need to move on as a community."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office say two counts of first degree premeditated murder are likely after taking a closer look at the medical examiner's report.
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