French Mum Admits Killing Eight Babies
A Frenchwoman has confessed to killing her eight newborn babies and hiding their bodies in a village, a judicial source has said.
Dominique Cottrez, 47, and her husband Pierre-Marie were arrested over what could be France's biggest infanticide case.
The care worker from Villers-au-Tertre, about 125 miles north of Paris, is accused of "deliberate homicides of minors under the age of 15", which carries a life sentence.
Her husband, a carpenter in his 40s, is indicted for "failure to report a crime and harbouring corpses".
But the source said Mrs Cottrez initially confessed in custody to killing two children at birth, about 10 years ago, before admitting she murdered the other six.
Police had used sniffer dogs to search an address in Villers-au-Tertre after the new owners of a home found the bones of two infants while digging in their garden.
Sky's Alex Rossi, reporting from the village, said the house previously belonged to Mrs Cottrez's parents.
Search teams then headed on to the couple's home in another part of the village, where six more sets of remains were found.
Rossi said: "We've heard from a police source that this woman may have been systematically killing her babies since 1988."
Neighbours were astonished at the couple's arrest. "They are normal people, who even have a role in the community. It's incredible," said one.
Another neighbour, a man in his 50s, added: "These are attractive, helpful, polite and courteous people, who did nothing to make you think them capable of anything abnormal."
Psychotherapist Philip Hodson expected it to emerge that Mrs Cottrez was "living with a man who is dominant and takes most of the decisions in her life".
He told Sky News Online: "I would not be surprised to hear that she was under some pressure not to turn into a mother but remain available for his pleasure.
"I would think she was either terrified that having a child would lose the affection and support of the man, or think he would not want the child, because it would stop him being the star of the show."
The couple have two grown-up daughters and are grandparents, reports said.