'Flowerpot' babies in Germany identified by DNA

29th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2005, FRANKFURT-AN-DER-ODER, GERMANY - Pathologists have used DNA to identify all nine baby skeletons found in July in flowerpots and planters in a German village, the newspaper Bild reported Tuesday.

29 November 2005

FRANKFURT-AN-DER-ODER, GERMANY - Pathologists have used DNA to identify all nine baby skeletons found in July in flowerpots and planters in a German village, the newspaper Bild reported Tuesday.

The seven females and two males were all the offspring of the German mother, 40, and her former husband, geneticists found.

The accused remains in custody as prosecutors try to build a nine- count homicide case against her. They have yet to find a cause of death. The woman says she drank bottles of alcohol before each birth, remembered nothing and found the babies dead when she awoke.

Decomposed remains of the tiny children were found in plastic bags stuffed into the soil inside window-planters that the woman had retained during various relocations. They were discovered at her parents' home in Brieskow-Finkenheerd, close to the Polish border.

Bild said genetic analysis could not reveal the cause or time of death. Further pathology reports were due next month, it said.

The babies are believed to have died between 17 and 6 years ago. The couple had three other children who are alive.

"I assume that we will indict her for homicide in the next few weeks," prosecutor Ulrich Scherding was quoted saying in Bild. "Mrs H. has described two of the deaths." Her full surname has been withheld under German reporting guidelines.

"After the first death, she should have known not to get drunk when giving birth," Scherding said, outlining the state's case. "She would have known by then it meant a newborn had no chance to live."

A lawyer representing her, Matthias Schoeneburg, was quoted saying a case could only be made for the homicide by negligence in the second case.

DPA

Subject: German news

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