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French Woman Dominique Cottrez Admits to Suffocating 8 Newborns, Says Prosecutor

Dominique Cottrez (Personal Photo)
French Woman Dominique Cottrez Admits to Suffocating 8 Newborns, Says Prosecutor
Dominique Cottrez (Personal Photo)

VILLERS-AU-TERTRE, France (CBS/AP) Dominique Cottrez has been charged with manslaughter after admitting she suffocated eight of her newborns and concealed their corpses in the garden and garage of her home, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The 46-year-old French mother, who is a nurse's aide by profession, said that after a bad experience with her first pregnancy she never again wanted to see a doctor.

She admitted delivering the babies herself and placing the corpses in plastic bags. She buried two of the newborns in the garden and hid the rest of them in the garage, prosecutor Eric Vaillant said.

"She explained that she didn't want any more children and that she didn't want to see a doctor to take contraceptives," Vaillant told a news conference. "She was perfectly conscious of the fact that she was pregnant each time."

Cottrez and her husband, Pierre-Marie Cottrez, were detained Wednesday after two corpses were discovered by the new owners in plastic bags in the garden of a house that had belonged to the woman's father in the town of Villers-au-Tertre in northern France.

Under questioning, the woman admitted that there were six other corpses and told investigators that they were in plastic bags in the garage of her home where they were found.

The woman is still in detention and will undergo further psychiatric testing, Vaillant said.

Her husband was freed from custody and not charged, although he remains under judicial control. He claimed that he knew nothing about the pregnancies of his wife, who is very large and apparently easily concealed her condition.

Earlier, Vaillant said in a statement that the husband could be charged with failure to report a crime and concealment of corpses.

The couple's two grown daughters, who are in their 20s, have been questioned, Vaillant said. He refused to provide any further details about them or what they said.