French couple arrested after baby found in car boot

A picture taken on 28 October, 2013 in Terrasson, central France, shows the garage where a child was found by mechanics in the boot of a car
Image caption A mechanic who found the baby said he had since suffered nightmares

A couple has been arrested after a malnourished and underdeveloped baby girl was found in the boot of a car in France's Dordogne region on Sunday.

Staff at a garage in Terrasson said they heard moans from the back of a vehicle brought in for repairs.

They found a child - aged between 15 and 23 months - pale, feverish, naked and lying in her own excrement.

Her mother said she had kept the birth a secret. She and her partner were arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

Their three other children have been taken into social care.

Image caption The house in Brignac-la-Plaine in the Correze region where the couple lived

A local prosecutor, Jean-Pierre Laffite, said the situation "defied belief".

"The girl was suffering from serious [developmental] delays," he told the AFP news agency.

The mechanic who found the girl, Guillaume Iguacel, said he was having trouble sleeping.

"It was a horrifying sight seeing this little girl in her own excrement, not able to hold up her head, white as a sheet," he explained,

Mr Iguacel said the garage staff had told the mother to remove the girl from the boot and give her something to drink immediately.