Michigan Mother Killed Her 2 Children, Stored Their Bodies In Deep Freezer
“They were cooped up in a freezer like meat,” the victims’ sister says of her deceased younger siblings.
Court officers evicting a Michigan woman from her apartment in March 2015 made the grisly discovery of her two children’s bodies stuffed in a deep freezer.
“I was afraid to even walk by the freezer. Every time I came downstairs to eat breakfast or to play a video game, I had to walk right past the freezer,” Gabi Blair recalls of where the remains of two of her three siblings were found in the family’s Detroit home. “But there was nowhere else that my mom could hide the bodies. They were cooped up in a freezer like meat. I’m happy I was able to make it out alive.”
Gabi recalls her mother, Mitchelle Blair, was physically and emotionally abusive. “My mom was a ticking time bomb,” she explains. “She always had her fuse lit. So anything, the slightest tap, would set her off.”
As the children grew older, Gabi says her mother’s punishments grew more and more severe and often depended on her mood. “For a while there was an extension cord phase. Then there was a belt buckle phase,” Gabi says.
One day in August 2012, Blair snapped and went too far.
According to Gabi, her younger brother, Stephen Gage Berry, 9, had two toy figures and had placed them in a “suggestive” position.
As a result, Gabi says, “My mom became obsessed with this crazy notion that my siblings had sexually assaulted our youngest brother, and she started basically interrogating the youngest.”
Gabi recalls her mother repeatedly asked the youngest sibling if Stephen had done something to him. The boy denied anything happened but finally told her yes. “There’s no concrete evidence to prove that Stephen sexually assaulted the youngest,” Gabi says, explaining she thought he only affirmed Blair’s suspicions because “he didn’t know any better.”
Blair left the room and returned with an extension cord, which she wrapped around Stephen’s neck, lifting him off the ground with it. She then took the child to her bedroom and closed the door. Over the next few days, Gabi says their mother denied Stephen food, asphyxiated him with a plastic bag and tortured him until he eventually died from his injuries.
“I don’t understand where my mom’s mind was,” Gabi says.
Things only got worse when Blair ordered Gabi to help her take Stephen’s body downstairs, where Blair put her son inside a freezer.
“Trying to live knowing that my brother is in the freezer was terrifying,” Gabi says. “I made sure to watch what I said around [my mother]. I already knew that one misstep and this is where I’d end up.”
Blair became more and more paranoid after her son’s death and her threats only ratcheted up in intensity. She drilled into her children’s heads what they should say when asked about Stephen’s sudden absence.
Blair eventually turned her rage on another target, her 13-year-old daughter, Stoni Ann Blair. According to Gabi, Blair began asking their younger brother if Stoni had ever sexually assaulted him. As with Stephen, the brother initially said no but reversed course and said yes when Blair became aggressive and threatened to beat him if he didn’t tell the truth, Gabi says.
After increasingly violent abuse, the situation came to a head in May 2013 when Gabi says she witnessed her mother hit Stoni in the temple with a two by four and then strangle her with a t-shirt. Though Stoni was still alive, Blair forced Gabi to put the girl in the freezer on top of Stephen. She then threatened Gabi would be next if she stepped out of line and threatened to kill Gabi’s surviving brother and herself if she told anyone what happened.
In March 2015, Blair received an eviction notice because she hadn’t paid rent. “There was nowhere else that my mom could hide the bodies,” Gabi says. “This was it; this was the end.”
An eviction crew discovered the children’s bodies, and Blair confessed to a neighbor that her son and daughter were dead and she had been hiding them.
Blair was originally charged with two counts of felony murder, premeditated murder, and torture.
Several months later, Blair, then 36, pleaded guilty to murdering her two children and she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
For more on this case, stream Evil Lives Here: “I Made It Out Alive” on discovery+.