French mother, 14, left newborn in bottle bin

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Joshua Melvin - [email protected]
French mother, 14, left newborn in bottle bin
Mum, 14, admits to leaving newborn in recycling bin. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

A 14-year-old girl in France was being held for questioning after police say she gave birth to a child in secret and then left the baby for dead in a collection bin for recyclable glass.


A passerby heard what sounded like a baby crying from inside a covered recycling bin back on July 10, which led to a call for help to police who rescued the child.

Though hypothermic and cut by broken glass inside the bin, the baby girl, named Emma by local authorities, survived the ordeal.

In the intervening months police in Rouvroy in northern France used “high technology” in a hunt for the mother and finally tracked the girl down in recent days, French media reported.

The 14-year-old girl, who was not named, was being held for questioning on Thursday and will likely face charges for attempted homicide.

She had apparently hidden the pregnancy from her family and friends and had done research online on giving birth, including how to cut the umbilical cord. She has allegedly confessed to abandoning the baby, the French media reported.

Locals who know the girl were left stunned by the allegations. Prosecutor Philippe Peyroux told reporters the girl was “educated” and a “good student in her class.”

Prior to the girl being named as the child's mother, local authorities said they'd refrain from judging whoever abandoned the baby.

“Is it fear or desperation that made the mother act in this way? I don’t know. Is it a desperate act?" local mayor Jean Haja told La Voix du Nord. “I need to know more about the case before I judge.” 

It's not the only case of an abandoned baby that has caused shock in France in recent weeks.

Earlier this summer The Local reported how a newborn baby was found left in the toilets of Orly airport in Paris.

According to local prosecutors investigating the case, “the mother just gave birth” and then left the boy in the restroom in the departures area of the airport.

Family welfare officers launched an investigation to track down the mother. It's not clear if they have found her.


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