German police find 3 dead babies in freezer; woman held


BERLIN — In the latest case of apparent infanticide to shock Germany, police said Monday they have found three dead babies in a freezer and arrested a woman believed to be the children’s mother.

Police said the woman’s grown-up son and daughter discovered the tiny corpses — believed to be newborns — on Saturday evening when they were looking for something to eat when their parents were out.

“They both decided to get a pizza and realised that the freezer had to be cleaned up because it was full of out-of-date food… It was then that they discovered the first bag,” police investigator Herbert Fingerhut said.

The two waited for the parents to come home at around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday from a weekend in the Black Forest before confronting them.

The 44-year-old woman, her husband and their daughter arrived at a police station soon afterwards. A police car was then sent to the detached house in the town of Wenden, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Bonn.

Police discovered all three babies in plastic bags, one of which contained a newspaper dated from 1988, leading investigators to believe that at least this baby died at around that time, Fingerhut said.

The couple have an 18-year-old son and two daughters, aged 24 and 22.

The woman has been placed under medical supervision because of her mental state and was to be questioned later Monday, said prosecutors’ spokesman Ewald Weinberger.

The corpses must first be “slowly and carefully thawed out” before autopsies can be carried out and cause of death established, Fingerhut said.

He said that it was possible that the woman may have been able to conceal her pregnancies because she was overweight.