Couple arrested after eight newborn babies' bodies found

A French couple were in custody today after police found the bodies of eight newborn babies on their property in a village in northern France, a judicial official said.

The official said the couple, in their mid-40s, were the parents of the dead babies, and that the remains were found in two different parts of the property in Villers-au-Tertre, not far from the city of Lille.

No other information was immediately available.

The prosecutor for the Nord region is planning a news conference tomorrow.

France has seen a string of cases in recent years of mothers killing their newborn babies and saving and hiding the bodies.

In one case, Celine Lesage acknowledged in court in March that she killed six of her newborns, whose bodies were found in plastic bags in her basement in north-west France.

Another Frenchwoman, Veronique Courjault, was convicted last year of murdering three of her newborn children.

Her husband discovered two of the bodies in a freezer while the couple were living in South Korea.

During her trial, psychiatrists testified that she suffered from a psychological condition known as “pregnancy denial”.

There have also been similar cases in Germany.

In one, a woman was convicted of manslaughter in 2006 and sentenced to the maximum 15 years in prison for killing eight of her newborn babies and burying them in flower pots and a fish tank in the garden of her parents’ home near the German-Polish border.

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