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$1M bond set for woman whose kids were found dead in freezer

  • Teddy bears and notes were left at a townhome in Detroit, Wednesday, where two bodies were found. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Robert Allen)

DETROIT »  A Detroit woman charged with child abuse after the bodies of two of her children were found in her home freezer has been ordered to stay in jail Thursday unless she can post a $1 million bond.

In setting the high bond, 36th District Court Magistrate Renee McDuffee told Mitchelle Blair that "the charges in this matter are so heinous."

Blair also was ordered not to have any contact with her two surviving children, a 17-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy who had been living in the home and have been placed in protective custody. She also can’t interact with relatives who have contact with those children or with neighbors at her apartment complex near downtown Detroit.

Blair, 35, appeared on a video feed from a police lockup during Thursday’s arraignment. She didn’t have a lawyer, and McDuffee entered a "not guilty" plea on her behalf.

A prosecutor requested a high bond amount, telling McDuffee that Blair could face two counts of first-degree murder charges once investigators determine how Stoni Ann Blair and Stephen Gage Berry died.

Court officers serving an eviction notice at the home Tuesday found the children’s bodies in the family’s deep freezer.

Mitchelle Blair and her surviving children were in a nearby apartment when the eviction crew arrived.

Prosecutors said they think Stoni and Stephen died about two years ago, and that she was 13 and he was 9 when it happened.

The children’s bodies were still thawing Thursday and the medical examiner was planning to conduct the autopsies on them Friday. Blair faces an April 2 probable cause hearing and April 9 preliminary examination.    

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