French mother charged with killing eight babies (Lead)

July 29th, 2010 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, July 29 (IANS) A 45-year-old woman, who is the mother of two grown-up girls, has been charged with the murder of her eight newborn babies in France.
Dominique Cottrez, a nursing assistant, is said to have been “systematically killing her babies since 1988″, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Cottrez, a resident of the village Villers-au-Tertre near Lille in northern France, appeared before an investigating magistrate where she was charged.

Investigators said she had confessed to killing ten babies.

If convicted, Cottrez faces 15 years in prison in what has become France’s worst ever case of infanticide.

No charges have been made against her husband Pierre-Marie, 47, for concealing the bodies of the babies, which were found wrapped in plastic bags.

The incident came to light Saturday after new owners of a house in Villers-au-Tertre found human bones in their garden.

The police found the remains of two children hidden around the home and garden. After tracking the previous occupants to another house just half a mile away, they found the bodies of six more children hidden at that property.

According to a local newspaper, two of the bodies discovered had been hidden in the first house for over 20 years.

Police said the first house belonged to the parents of the babies’ mother.

Eric Vaillant, public prosecutor, said: “We have found eight bodies of newborn babies in different locations in Villers-au-Tertre. Two people, who are the parents of the children, are in custody.”

A detective working on the investigation said: “Our fear is that there are still more bodies to be discovered.”

This is not the first case of infanticide in France. Earlier this year, Celine Lesage was jailed for 15 years after admitting to killing six of her newborn babies and hiding the bodies in her cellar.

Last June another French woman, Veronique Courjault, was sentenced to eight years in jail after admitting to killing three of her babies, burning one corpse and hiding the others in the family freezer.

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