Sat, Mar 02, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Singaporeans suspected of dumping dead baby

PREMEDITATED MURDER?The couple appears to have wrapped the baby in a plastic bag that was found in a bucket of food waste collected by a recycling truck

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A still taken from video footage shows a man, who is suspected of dumping a baby girl, carrying a plastic bag early in the morning on Tuesday in Taipei’s Ximending area.

Photo: CNA

An autopsy and DNA testing should help determine a newborn girl’s identity and the cause of her death, police officials said yesterday, after a dead baby was found in a plastic bag in Taipei on Tuesday.

A young woman from Singapore is suspected to have given birth to the girl while staying with her boyfriend at a hotel in Taipei this week.

The two suspected parents have left Taiwan, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said, adding that it has contacted Singaporean authorities about judicial cooperation in the matter.

The couple have been tentatively identified as a 23-year-old man surnamed Lee (李) and his 24-year-old girlfriend surnamed Kuo (郭), based on information from airport passport control and the hotel’s reservations, police said.

The couple arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday last week and checked into a hotel in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, where they stayed until they departed for Singapore on Tuesday, investigators said.

They said they suspect that Kuo gave birth on Monday night or the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The couple appears to have wrapped the girl, the umbilical cord and the placenta in a plastic bag, they said.

The bag was found in a bucket of kitchen food waste that a recycling truck had collected from restaurants in Taipei and transported to the company’s depot in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店), police said.

Street camera footage from the Ximending area showed a man who looked like Lee carrying a plastic bag and throwing it into the kitchen waste container at about 3am, they said, adding that they traced him back to the hotel.

Investigators found blood stains in the bathroom drains and other evidence in the bedroom, police said, adding that they were trying to determine whether the baby was stillborn, had died soon after birth or was still alive when she was abandoned.

Police cited hotel staff as saying that the couple spoke Mandarin with a foreign accent.

The woman looked like she was in a late stage of pregnancy when they checked in and when they checked out, her belly appeared to have shrunk, police cited the staff as saying.

The autopsy and DNA testing would provide key evidence, which would be forwarded to Singaporean authorities along with updated case information, bureau officials said, adding that they would seek the couple’s extradition to Taiwan, where they could face homicide or premeditated murder charges if found guilty.

However, Taiwan does not have a judicial cooperation agreement with Singapore, so their extradition would be unlikely, the officials said.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Chinese-language Shin Min Daily News reported that it had contacted the male suspect.

The man said that he had been on holiday to Taiwan with his girlfriend, but she was not pregnant and they were not the baby’s parents, the newspaper reported.

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