Germany: Dead baby found mummified in field | News | DW | 03.08.2019
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Germany: Dead baby found mummified in field

The decomposed corpse of a newborn baby has been found in a field in northern Germany. The infant's mother has been arrested at the Wacken Open Air music festival as police investigate the cause of the infant's death.

A dead baby was found in a field in Rieseby, a municipality in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, local authorities said Friday.

Local residents discovered the partially mummified infant in a paddock on the outskirts of the village, according to the public prosecutor's office in the nearby city of Kiel.

The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper reported that the baby's body was already severely decomposed when it was found. Police estimate the child's birth to be mid-2018.

Autopsy underway

"This is a newborn whose death must have been a long time ago," chief prosecutor Axel Bieler was quoted by the Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag as saying.

Bieler said the homicide division had detained the baby's mother, a Rieseby resident in her mid-20s, early Friday morning at a music festival in nearby Wacken. The woman claimed she had a stillbirth and was later released after questioning.

However, authorities have opened a preliminary investigation into the baby's death. The autopsy of the infant's corpse had not been finished as of Friday afternoon, and official results aren't expected until Monday.

"The autopsy must show whether it was a stillbirth or whether the baby was still alive and then killed," Bieler said.

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