July 29th, 2010
08:51 AM ET

Mom in France admits smothering 8 newborns

French prosecutors said Thursday they charged a woman with murder after she admitted giving birth to and killing eight babies in northern France.

The woman, Dominique Cottrez, said she hid the pregnancies and deaths from her husband, who had no idea what she had done, prosecutor Eric Vaillant told reporters. Cottrez is overweight and was able to conceal the pregnancies, he said.

Cottrez told investigators the reason she killed the babies was that she did not want to have any more children and did not want to see doctors for contraceptives, Vaillant said.

Despite earlier reports that the husband had been charged, Vaillant said he was free to go but may still be investigated.

Vaillant said there are no other babies' bodies left to be found.

The case came to light when a couple gardening in their backyard in the northern town of Villers-au-Tertre found two babies' bodies in sealed plastic bags and called police.

Police spoke to Cottrez and her husband, who had previously lived in the home, and Cottrez admitted immediately that she was the mother of the two babies, Vaillant said. She then told police about six others concealed in their garage, Vaillant said.

Those six bodies were also in sealed plastic bags but were covered by various objects, he said.

Cottrez had psychological problems from her first pregnancy, said Pierre-Jean Gribouva, the lawyer for her husband, Pierre-Marie.

"My client is in a deep state of shock," Gribouva told CNN affiliate BFM. "He had no idea about this. He has totally fallen apart."

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Filed under: France
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. brightskys

    Wow! This is so tragic! She is a very lazy, self centered and has no heart! Those babies didn't deserve anything like that! She didn't even give them a chance! Those 8 babies could have been great children for 8 loving, caring families if she didn't want anymore children!! She is pathetic!!

    July 29, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Logical Thinker

    Unfortunately, I agree with brightskys. I am appalled and I hope the justice system does the right thing. God surely will.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. frostback

    All in all, though, didn't you notice a 'politically correct' reluctance to blame her for anything? She was 'trapped' and 'overwhelmed' in something too hard for us to understand.
    How differently the story would have played, if her husband was the accused. Would all of those mealy-mouthed phrases have been brought forward in his behalf? You know they wouldn't, and rightly so. The subtext here is - shamefully - that men who are evil should be condemned, but women who are evil are never more than victims, who must be understood.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. alexzehn

    Actually I think the article mentioned that it was the husband who was "overwhelmed". But ye, I think there is something to what frostback said about the political correctness. She killed EIGHT (8) babies dammit...........

    July 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Soru

    That's just disgusting and scary... There's no justice in France anyway so don't expect them to do anything about it... it's like a local tradition to protect criminals over there and always find excuses for whatever horrors they committed -_-

    July 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      No justice in France? A "local tradition to protect criminals over there and always find excuses for whatever horrors they committed..."

      On what grounds are you making this statement? Can you provide examples? This is a sick woman who committed a sick crime in a (thankfully) democratic society with laws that protects its citizens (just like the U.S.) and she will be punished to the full extent of those laws. I also think she will be deemed mentally incapacitated. Only a sick individual could do something like this.

      Soru, it sounds like you're taking issue with France and not the crime? Care to explain why?

      July 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. keylime

    I think the French courts ought to throw the book at those monsters for that! France has both legal adoption AND abortion, there was no excuse for what these "mothers" did! It's strange...I get judged very harshly because I chose to place a child for adoption when I was a young woman of 25 and not ready to be a parent. In fact, my relinquished offspring hates me because of it, but here we have these women who are willfully MURDERING their children and treating their corpses as if they were garbage!!! At least I gave my child a chance to live, not like those you-know-whats!

    July 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jyngrehl

    Now see, this is just something I don't understand. I know it's a psychological condition that even lower forms of animals and insects have that makes them kill their young... but for some reason I just can't get my mind to wrap around the whole concept of a human being especially a parent, doing that to another human being. It absolutely boggles me.

    July 30, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. victoriouswomen

    I know where I have been, but I do not know where I am going. I know what I have done, but I do not know what I am going to do. I am deeply saddened that this happened. I just can't judge this woman.

    Many women suffer from depression–a chemical depression–during and after pregnancy. Hopefully, she will receive help from mental health professionals.

    Isn’t it obvious that something was and is wrong with her? There is nothing right about what she did. I, however, do not want to understand the whys because I’d have to walk in her shoes—just not something I’d like to do.

    Vivian Dixon Sober

    July 30, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. irawanto

    great 🙂


    July 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |