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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021

Mother charged with murder of eight babies

Authorities say woman confesses to multiple infanticide.

Dominique Cottrez.
Image: Facebook

A FRENCH WOMAN arrested yesterday in connection with the discovery of eight dead babies has been charged with their murder. Dominique Cottrez, a nursing assistant in her mid-40s, faces life in prison if found guilty of the deaths.

She is believed to be the mother of the children. French investigators said today that Cottrez confessed to killing the eight and said she had suffocated the babies.

Her husband, also in his mid-40s, has been released without charge, according to Le Figaro. He is a member of the local council and is currently serving his third term. Authorities said he denied any knowledge of the deaths.

The discoveries were made after the new owners of a property in Villers-au-Tertre, near Lille, discovered human bones in their garden and alerted authorities. Police found the remains of two babies hidden around the house and garden.

Police then tracked the previous owners of the property and searched their residence, where they discovered six more corpses. The bodies were wrapped in plastic before being concealed at the two properties.

France has seen other infanticide cases in recent years.

Earlier this year, Celine Lesage was sentenced to 15 years after admitting to killing six of her newborn babies. Their bodies had been found in plastic bags in her basement by her then-partner.

Veronique Courjault was convicted last year of murdering three of her newborn children, two of whom her husband discovered in their freezer. Psychiatrists testified at her trial that she suffered from a psychological condition known as “pregnancy denial.”

French officials speaking at a press conference today said that Cottrez has not suggested pregnancy denial.

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