2 August 2005
FRANKFURT AN DER ODER, GERMANY - In a bizarre case that has shocked Germany, police said Tuesday that a woman gave birth to nine babies over a period of 16 years - and is suspected of killing each of them immediately after childbirth.
The 39-year-old woman confessed to having delivered the infants herself, the public prosecutor's office said at a news conference.
Investigators said the woman, who also has four other children, gave conflicting accounts as to just how many children she has given birth to between 1988 and 2004.
Fearing the toll might actually be higher, investigators with sniffer dogs continued their search of a garage and back lot in a village south of Frankfurt an der Oder on the Polish border.
The grisly discovery was made when a hired hand came to clean out the garage over the weekend in the town of Brieskow-Finkenheerd and stumbled across tiny human bones.
"When someone went to clean up the lot, he found human bones in an old aquarium," state prosecutor Ulrich Scherding said. Authorities added that other bodies were hidden in plastic flower boxes and pots and would now be taken for autopsy.
Forensics tests revealed that all of the infants were the woman's. Tests were continuing to determine whether the father is the man with whom the woman has lived for most of the last 20 years.
The woman, who lives with her four surviving children in nearby Frankfurt, was described by neighbours as a friendly person who raised no suspicions during the two decades that she lived in the village in the 1980s and 1990s.
"We are faced with a crime whose scope, in my memory, we have never seen in the history of the federal republic" since 1945, said Brandenburg state Interior Minister Joerg Schoenbohm.
"We must ask ourselves how this unbelievable crime remained hidden all these years."
(c) DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news
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