German toddler found dead in father's fridge

11th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2006, Bremen, Germany (dpa) - A key German regional official resigned on Wednesday, a day after the body of a neglected 2-year-old boy was found in a refrigerator at the home of his heroin-addict father. "I am deeply troubled by this case, which will be investigated thoroughly, regardless of my resignation," said Karin Roepke, social affairs senator in the northern city-state of Bremen. Roepke's department had come under fire after it emerged the toddler was allowed to stay with his father even

11 October 2006

Bremen, Germany (dpa) - A key German regional official resigned on Wednesday, a day after the body of a neglected 2-year-old boy was found in a refrigerator at the home of his heroin-addict father.

"I am deeply troubled by this case, which will be investigated thoroughly, regardless of my resignation," said Karin Roepke, social affairs senator in the northern city-state of Bremen.

Roepke's department had come under fire after it emerged the toddler was allowed to stay with his father even though the child had been made a ward of court. The man was under investigation in connection with the death last year of the boy's mother, who was also a drug user.

The unnamed 41-year-old man was formally arrested on Wednesday on charges of manslaughter and abusing a minor.

Police and social workers discovered the body when they attempted to take custody of the child on Tuesday.

Officials said the child appeared to have died of neglect some time ago. A doctor last saw the boy in July, before a court sat on the case and ordered the child to be made a ward of the state.

Police said they arrived at the family apartment and asked the father where the boy was. He pointed to the fridge and said, "He's in there," but gave no other information.

A post-mortem investigation was ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

There have been at least half-a-dozen cases in the last six years where parents in Germany have been charged or sentenced to prison terms for causing the death of their children by neglect.

Experts estimate there are about 10,000 children living in conditions bordering on neglect in Germany, one of Europe's richest countries.

DPA

Subject: German news

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