Dominique Cottrez, a nursing auxiliary, has admitted to killing her babies but told police her husband had no idea of her actions.
The quiet village of Villers-au-Tertre in north-eastern France was in a state of shock last night after the bodies of eight newborn babies were found buried in the ground.
By late yesterday afternoon, this sleepy hamlet had become infamous after police said it appeared to have played host to the worst infanticide in French history.
Dominique Cottrez, who has been charged with the murder of eight of her newborn babies
A neighbour, who had recently moved into a house formerly owned by the woman’s parents, and in which the couple used to live, stumbled upon the remains of two of the children when he was digging a duck pond for his garden on Saturday, sources said.
Police from the nearby city of Douai called in forensic experts to determine if they were human remains. The answer, which came swiftly, prompted them to further their search. At the house where the pair live, the police discovered six more corpses wrapped in plastic bags.
The couple, who have two daughters in their 20s, were placed in custody. They are likely to appear before a court today and could face charges, police said.
An initial report by French radio that the mother had admitted to ‘systematically’ killing her babies without telling her husband was later rejected by a police source.