France - unnnamed 2 yo girl kept in car trunk

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France - unnnamed 2 yo girl kept in car trunk

Post by ladibug on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:16 pm

2:49PM GMT 28 Oct 2013

A baby girl was forced to live hidden in the boot of her parents’ car for almost two years in a case that has appalled France and that investigators say “defies the imagination”.

Neighbours and the media today questioned how the tiny child could have been hidden undetected for so long.

Mechanics carrying out repairs on a Peugeot 307 family estate car in Terrasson-Lavilledieu in the Dordogne were alerted to the child’s presence after hearing “strange noises that sounded like moans” coming from the rear of the vehicle.

The mother, 45, a Portuguese woman known only as Rose-Marie, claimed that these came from “toys”. But the men insisted on opening the boot and were horrified to discover a small, dehydrated and apparently feverish child lying naked in its own excrement.

The mechanic who found the girl, Guillaume Iguacel, said today he was still in shock from the discovery.

"I’m still 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 said.

Mr Iguacel said the girl’s mother appeared to have little concern for her daughter.

"We were deeply shocked because she didn’t find this abnormal. We told her to remove the little girl (from the boot) and give her something to drink right away,” he said.

Paramedics were called and she was immediately taken to hospital.

The mother told investigators that she had kept the child’s existence from her husband, an unemployed builder, also Portuguese, who police were unable to question straight away given his drunken state. The mother said she gave birth alone then hid the baby in the boot. It has no birth certificate and apparently no name.

“It appears the child had been hidden from her birth, and even worse is seriously retarded,” said Jean-Pierre Laffite, the prosecutor in nearby Brive-La-Gaillarde. He said the girl’s height, weight and mental development didn’t conform to her age, estimated to be between 15 and 23 months. She cannot speak a word.

“It’s a situation that defies the imagination,” he added.

Shocked neighbours in the couple’s village of Brignac-la-Plaine in the department of Corrèze said they had no reason to suspect a hidden child.

“The car always stayed outside at night so if the little girl was inside it, we didn’t see anything,” said one.

“We didn’t have much contact with them. She barely said hello, and they didn’t really want to integrate into the neighbourhood. How could we have known?,” Claude, a pensioner who lives opposite the couple, told Le Parisien.

Pascale, another neighbour, said: “We had the impression that this woman lived in her car. She never left it.” "I recall seeing her several times a week with her car parked in a little lot about 200 metres from her house.” "But we couldn’t see what she was doing in the boot,” said Pascale. “We never heard a single cry, never saw a bottle or a pushchair,” said the nursery assistant.

Other neighbours said the mother often used cardboard to cover the car.

"When I think that her baby was locked in the boot of her car parked 100 metres from us, it sends shivers down my spine. She managed to fool everyone,” the mother of one of the other children’s classmates, told Le Parisien.

Her parents have been charged with child abuse and neglect, and social services have taken into care their three other children - a four-year-old girl and two boys aged nine and 10.

The couple, who remain under strict judicial supervision, face a maximum ten-year prison terms if convicted.

As to the motive for hiding the baby, a judicial source said: “(The mother) provided none. That remains the big mystery.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10409299/Questions-for-mother-who-kept-secret-baby-in-car-boot-for-over-a-year.html


Last edited by ladibug on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Just can't find the big 'dot' for title)
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Re: France - unnnamed 2 yo girl kept in car trunk

Post by ladibug on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:24 pm

Father of baby found in car boot says he knew nothing of her existence

4:17PM GMT 29 Oct 2013

The father of a baby girl apparently forced to live hidden in the boot of her parents’ car for almost two years in southwestern France “knew nothing” of her existence and is in a state of shock and disbelief, according to his lawyer.

A car mechanic’s discovery of the naked child lying in its own excrement in the boot of her mother’s Peugeot in a Dordogne village has appalled France and “defies the imagination”, according to the local prosecutor.

Today, a lawyer for the child’s father, a 40-year old unemployed builder from Portugal, insisted he was totally unaware of the girl’s existence.

“He was dumbfounded, he didn’t understand and thought there must be some mistake,” Lyliane Picard, his lawyer, told RTL radio. The father was reportedly too drunk when arrested to be questioned and spent a night in a police cell to sober up.

“(He) was very affected by it and had tears in his eyes,” she said. “Even if he didn’t understand (everything), he realised that something grave had happened.” The man already has three children with the same partner - a girl aged four and two boys aged nine and 10.

The mother, 45, a Portuguese woman known only as Rose-Marie, has told investigators she hid the child’s existence from the rest of the family but failed to provide explanations.

Amid reports that he was sometimes violent, the godfather of the man’s third child, a girl now aged four, said the father was “very happy to have one girl”, but told him: “I’ve got my daughter, now I don’t want anymore.” While she admitted her client had drinking problems, Miss Picard said he was in no way violent: “I met him for 48 hours and I don’t think he is a violent man. On the contrary, he is close to his children.

“Let me make it clear that these children have absolutely not been mistreated. They are adorable children who work well at school, were well looked after, had their own bedrooms, toys and desks and lived very naturally and normally.” She said that the mother had given “no explanation” as to the fourth child’s existence and could no longer speak to him as the pair are not allowed to contact each other while the investigation continues.

Professor Jean-Pierre Bouchard, a psychologist and criminologist, said it appeared to be a case of “denial of pregnancy”.

“Lots of cases of denial of pregnancy end well. But in some rarer ones, mothers who are surprised and unsettled by a birth can go as far as infanticide or, in exceptional cases, spark behaviour in which the child remains hidden.”

On Monday, Jean-Pierre Laffite, the prosecutor in Brive-La-Gaillarde, near the family home said: “It appears the child had been hidden from her birth, and even worse is seriously retarded.” He said the girl’s height, weight and mental development didn’t conform to her age, estimated to be between 15 and 23 months. She cannot speak a word.

“It’s a situation that defies the imagination,” he added.

Both parents have been preliminarily charged with child abuse and neglect, and social services have taken into care their three other children.

They face a maximum ten-year prison terms if convicted.

Dominique Bertinotti, the French family affairs minister, said: “We are in a society where a child can have no official existence, cannot be recognised, can escape the notice of neighbours, of society as a whole - that’s what makes this affair so terrible.”

She added that child abuse in France remained a “taboo issue and is too underestimated”.

“We have a false shyness (about it). There is something very unsettling about tackling this question of abuse which, I must point out, affects all social milieus.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10412428/Father-of-baby-found-in-car-boot-says-he-knew-nothing-of-her-existence.html

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