Mother of eight baby corpses placed under investigation for murder
The presumed mother of eight infants whose remains were found in a northern French village was Thursday placed under judicial investigation for murder of a minor, French media reported.
Her husband was also placed under investigation, but on the lesser charges of not reporting a crime and being in possession of corpses, DPA reported.
The remains were discovered earlier this week in the village of Villers-au-Tertre, about 150 kilometres north of Paris.
The first two cadavers were found outside the house in which the couple had previously lived when the new occupants began digging in the garden. The other six corpses were discovered in the basement of their new home.
The online edition of the daily Le Parisien reported that the woman, Dominique Cottrez, aged 47, has admitted to police that she suffocated all eight infants after their birth.
However, she reportedly told police that her husband, Pierre-Marie Cottrez, knew nothing about their births and deaths. She was apparently able to disguise her pregnancies because of her corpulence.
"We are in shock," the mayor of Villers-au-Tertre, Patrick Mercier, told France Info radio Thursday. The village has a population of about 700 people.
A neighbour of the couple's told the station, "We are all perplexed. We can't sleep any more."
The case could be one of the worst cases of infanticide in French history. In a similar case, a 34-year-old woman was sentenced in 2007 to 15 years in prison for killing six newborn infants over a seven-year period.