The apartment building where a 35-year-old woman, who was
arrested on suspicion of the manslaughter of five babies,
resided in Oulu, northern Finland. REUTERS/Markku
Finnish police have found five badly decomposed human
foetuses in the storage room of an apartment building in the
northern town of Oulu and have arrested a woman resident on
suspicion of manslaughter, authorities say.
Police checking the contents of packages found in the cellar
by maintenance workers on Tuesday (local time) were
approached by a 35-year-old woman who told them they
contained the remains of stillborn babies to which she had
given birth at her home 5-10 years ago.
Detective Inspector Seppo Leinonen said police arrested the
woman, who is married with children.
"We are investigating the case as a homicide as the foetuses
are so close to full term that under normal conditions they
would have been viable to survive," Leinonen told Reuters.
He said police believed the corpses of the nearly full-term
foetuses could be several years old.
Leinonen would not give further information about the woman
or comment on the number or ages of her living children. Her
family moved into the building only a few months ago, and
police suspect she brought the bodies from her previous
A maintenance company had alerted the police after locating
packages emitting a foul odour in the cellar at her apartment
building in Oulu, a city of 200,000 people that was once a
key Nokia research and development site.
Leinonen said there was no reason to believe anyone besides
the woman knew of the hidden bodies. Some of the bodies were
badly decomposed, complicating the investigation, he added.
"The woman has not been able to give any intelligible reason
for her actions," Leinonen said.