Couple held after bodies of eight newborns found at house

By Calvin Palmer

Police in northern France have unearthed the bodies of eight newborn babies in the village of Villers-au-Tertre, near Lille.

A couple believed to be the parents of the dead babies were arrested yesterday and are being held in police custody.

According to neighbors, the new owners of a house in the village alerted police after unearthing tiny human bones in their garden.

Detectives then found the corpses of other newborns in a house about half a mile from the first location.

Police cordoned off the house with yellow-and-black tape and continued to search the area today.

A legal inquiry is due to begin tomorrow and is expected to lead to the couple, both in their 40s, being formally placed under investigation awaiting charges.

Two other infanticide cases have rocked France this past year.

Celine Lesage, 38, was sentenced in March to 15 years in prison after acknowledging in court that she killed six of her newborns, whose corpses were found in plastic bags in her basement in northwest France.

Last June, Véronique Courjault, a “model” mother of two boys, was convicted of murdering three of her newborn children. Her husband discovered two of the corpses in a freezer while the two were living in South Korea.

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

Courjault, 42, was released in May for good behavior after spending three years behind bars awaiting trial.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and The Daily Telegraph.]

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