France: 8 dead babies found in home

Couple from "rural, tranquil community" taken into custody.

July 29, 2010 11:40
1 minute read.
A metal gate is taped closed Wednesday July 28, 2010, as French police investigate the scene where t

france police tape 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

A French couple had been taken into custody after police found the corpses of eight newborn babies in a village in northern France, a judicial official said Wednesday.

The official said the detained couple, in their mid-40s, were the parents of the dead babies, and that the corpses were found on two different parts of their property in Villers-au-Tertre, not far from the city of Lille.

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The official was not authorized to be publicly identified because the investigation is under way.

The couple's neighbors were shocked by the allegations, according to a Le Figaro report on Thursday.

“They are welcoming, polite people,” one neighbor said. “The husband was even elected to the municipal council,” said another.

The village mayor, Daniel Collingnon, also expressed surprise, saying that he found it hard to grasp that such absurdities had taken place in his backyard.

“We are a rural, tranquil community,” he was quoted as saying, adding that he had learned of the arrests via television news.

On Wednesday night, police cordoned off the house with yellow-and-black tape and continued to search the area.

The prosecutor for the Nord region was planning a news conference on Thursday.

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