Mother charged with killing her children

A
French woman who admitted suffocating eight of her newborns and concealing
their corpses in the garden and garage of her home has been charged with
manslaughter.

Dominique
Cottrez, a 46-year-old nurse’s aide by profession, said that after a bad
experience with her first pregnancy she never again wanted to see a doctor. She
admitted delivering the babies herself and placing the corpses in plastic bags.
She buried two of the newborns in the garden and hid the other bodies in the
garage, prosecutor Eric Vaillant said.

“She
explained that she didn’t want any more children and that she didn’t want to
see a doctor to take contraceptives.”

“She
was perfectly conscious of the fact that she was pregnant each time,”
Vaillant said.

Cottrez
and her husband, Pierre-Marie Cottrez, were detained this week after two
corpses in plastic bags were discovered in a garden by the new owners of a
house that had belonged to the woman’s father in the town of Villers-au-Tertre
in northern France. Under questioning, the woman admitted that there were six
other corpses and told investigators that they were in plastic bags in the
garage of her home, where they were found.

The
woman is still in detention and will undergo further psychiatric testing,
Vaillant said. Her husband was freed from custody and not charged, although he
remains under judicial control. He claimed he knew nothing about the pregnancies
of his wife.

“As
for Mr. Cottrez, the sky is falling on his head he told us,” the
prosecutor said. “He told us that he was absolutely not aware that his
wife was pregnant.”

Vaillant
noted that Mrs. Cottrez is quite heavy, making it easy to conceal a pregnancy.
The prosecutor had said earlier in a statement that the husband could be
charged with failure to report a crime and concealment of corpses.

The
couple’s two grown daughters, who are in their 20s, have been questioned,
Vaillant said. He refused to provide further details about them or what they
said.

WORLDFrenchmotherSTORY

Dominique Cottrez is being detained while the investigation continues
Photo: BBC
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