Case of dead infants likely to go unsolved

Case of dead infants likely to go unsolved
The apartment building where the dead infants were found. Photo: DPA
The case of four dead babies found last week in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district will likely never be solved, daily Berliner Zeitung reported on Monday.

According to a source within the state office of criminal investigation, the remains found hidden in an ottoman last Wednesday are too decayed for accurate forensic testing. So far there has been no indication as to the cause of death or how old the bodies might be, the paper reported.

But contrary to initial reports, the infants had not been dismembered.

“Should the forensic tests, which could still take days, not reveal clear findings, the case will be closed,” the paper said.

The investigation is also hindered by the fact that the woman who lived in the apartment was cremated after her death, making DNA tests impossible, the paper reported. But Heike W., as the woman is identified, had a child that police may be able to test.

She gave the child up for adoption in 2001, a social worker in the district told the paper.

A 46-year-old woman who had lived in the 12th floor apartment since October 2008 committed suicide this July by jumping from the window. A male friend who was cleaning out her belongings last week made the gruesome discovery.

In recent years there have been a number of high-profile cases of infanticide in Germany, with the most notorious involving a woman jailed for 15 years in 2006 for the manslaughter of eight babies.

Sabine Hilschenz, a divorced, unemployed and alcoholic dental assistant from a depressed area of the ex-communist east of the country, hid the corpses in buckets, flowerpots and an old fish tank at her parents’ home.

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