British Woman Suspected Of Suffocating Her Own Baby To Death During Holiday Detained In France

French police officials from the small tourist village of Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, near Bayonne in France, have arrested a BrItish woman who they suspect is the person who suffocated her own baby to death while on a holiday. According to a report by The Independent, French police suspect that the woman who is reportedly in her 30s, killed her own 5-month-old baby while enjoying a holiday in the country with her husband and another child, reportedly 3-years-old. According to initial reports, the 5-month-old baby was found unresponsive by the child’s own father inside a holiday home where the family was staying in Basque country, in south-western France.

Finding the baby unresponsive, the father immediately called emergency services who confirmed that the baby was dead long before they came in. The actual circumstances following which the needle of suspicion fell on the mother of the child remains unclear at this point. In fact, authorities have not yet revealed the identity of the woman or the family involved in the incident. What is currently known is that the mother is in her 30s and that she was arrested in connection with a “suspicious death of an infant.”

According to Marc Mariée, a Bayonne prosecutor, police officers recorded a “suspicious death” at the scene while adding that “the initial investigation very quickly moved towards the mother, who has been placed in custody.”

As of Saturday, the woman was still being questioned by authorities from the local police department as well as detectives who are investigating the case. The custody period for the woman had to be increased so that she may be questioned.

Meanwhile, local french language newspaper Sud-Ouest reported that the mother, in her initial statement to the investigating officers, indicated that she had herself suffocated the child to death. They have, however, not been able to explain why the woman decided to take the extreme step.

Reports also say that the family of four were all sharing a room and that the father had woken up earlier than the others on the day of the incident. The woman is reported to have got up only by 9. It was after this that he noticed that the little 5-month-old was not breathing. Even though paramedics came in shortly after they were called in, all attempts to revive the child failed. Following the confirmation of death, the body of the baby was sent to a coroner who confirmed that the baby had died an “unnatural” death. An autopsy is expected to happen in the next few days in order to correctly determine the cause of death.

According to reports, the family was supposed to return to Britain following a week-long holiday. However, the rest of the members are now expected to remain in the country at least until the initial stages of the investigation remain open. In fact, the father and the 3-year-old child are still staying in the same holiday home where the baby was found dead.

Meanwhile, the incident has left local residents, and especially the owners of the holiday home, in a state of shock. They are also pondering over the reasons that could have led to the tragedy. As mentioned earlier, this incident happened in the village of Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle which has just over 6,000 people. The region is pretty well known for sheep farming, producing Ossau-Iraty cheese, and Espelette pepper. The region is also a very popular tourist location amongst the French as well people from other parts of Europe.

A local resident in an interview to a local media outlet said the following.

“People don’t know if it was an accident or if she killed the child deliberately. It’s hard to imagine but I suppose such things do happen,” said one man who requested not to be named.

Another resident, identified as Michèle, said this.

“The whole village is shocked. This a quiet place and people who come on holiday are normally quiet and nothing much happens. This is awful. We’ve never had anything like this here before. No one really knew who the tourists were or what actually happened.”

[Image via Pixabay]

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