By Lisa Marie Segarra
August 10, 2017

A mother whose 5-year-old was found dead in a suitcase along a Massachusetts highway two years ago has pleaded guilty to abusing and endangering her two surviving children.

Elsa Oliver is no longer facing charges related to the disappearance and death of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver, but pleaded guilty to assault and battery and two counts of reckless endangerment to her two surviving children, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early’s office said. She was sentenced to serve seven and a half years in prison for the charges.

Elsa Oliver was initially facing additional charges related to Jeremiah Oliver’s case including kidnapping of a child, assault and battery, permitting bodily injury to a child and reckless endangerment of a child. Her former boyfriend Alberto L. Sierra Jr. also saw his charges in the previous case dropped. Sierra pleaded guilty to three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery and two counts of reckless endangerment for assaulting the children and Elsa Oliver. The district attorney’s office said the “investigation remains active and ongoing.”

“The current charges involving the defendant and Jeremiah Oliver were ended at this time to allow the death investigation to continue and to eliminate a possible double jeopardy claim in connection with his death,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a release.

Jeremiah Oliver’s case led to a shake-up in Massachusetts’ Department of Children and Families at the time. Three employees were fired for alleged negligence in handling the case and then-commissioner Olga Roche resigned.

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