27 Sep 2012

A 28-year-old woman in Germany has confessed to killing each of her five children shortly after giving birth to them.

The woman turned herself in to police in the German city of Flensburg and made a "comprehensive confession", according to spokesman Dirk Czarnetzki.

The woman confessed to police that she killed her children, then hid their bodies. She was then arrested on five counts of manslaughter.

Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt, the head prosecutor in
Flensburg, said the woman has two living children, aged eight and 10, though her name is not being released in accordance with German privacy laws.

The case has shocked the small German town of Husum where the woman lived.

It is alleged she began hiding her pregnancies in 2006, avoiding doctors and hospitals before killing each infant shortly after giving birth.

She claimed to have given birth to two of her children at home and three of them in nearby woods.

"She had the impression her husband would leave her if she had any more children, and that's why she didn't tell anyone she was pregnant, including her husband," said Mr Stahlmann-Liebelt.

The woman also said her family lived at a certain level of prosperity, which she feared might be endangered by another child. She added her husband had made it clear he did not want a bigger family.

The husband has told police that he knew nothing about the pregnancies and it was not entirely clear how his wife managed to keep them secret.

Police found the first child's body dumped in a paper sorting station in 2006, nine miles (15 kms) from Husum where she lived.

The second was found in a parking area near a motorway in 2007.

After reading news reports that DNA results had confirmed the two children had the same parents, fearful of being caught, the woman decided not to dispose of the other bodies in public places.

She hid the next three infants in boxes in the basement of the building where she lived.

Police have recovered the bodies and sent them for autopsy, but forensic experts have not yet been able to determine exactly how the woman killed the babies or when.
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