Europe

Finland police arrest woman after five dead babies found

The staircase to the cellar of an apartment building, where the dead bodies of five babies were found Image copyright AFP
Image caption Officers found the bodies in the cellar of an apartment building

Police in north-west Finland have arrested a 35-year-old woman after finding five decomposed human foetuses in the basement of a block of flats.

Officers made the grim discovery while investigating "foul smelling packages" at the building in the city of Oulu.

The woman told them the infants were stillborn babies she had given birth to between five and 10 years ago.

They appeared to be "foetuses nearing maturity whose death dates back several years", a police statement said.

'Viable to survive'

Detective Inspector Seppo Leinonen said the woman, who is married with children, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

"We are investigating the case as a homicide as the foetuses are so close to full term that under normal conditions they would have been viable to survive," he told Reuters news agency.

The woman admitted responsibility and told officers that the packages contained the bodies of three babies, the statement from Oulu police department said.

She did not explain the discrepancy in the number of corpses or her reasons for keeping them.

Her family had moved into the apartment building in Oulu, about 800km (500 miles) north of Helsinki, a few months ago, Det Insp Leinonen said.

There was no reason to believed anyone else knew about the hidden bodies, he added.

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