Woman, son released on bail after children’s deaths

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Mon, Feb 04, 2013 - Page 3

A Hsinchu County woman and her son were released on bail yesterday morning after two infants she was taking care of died under suspicious circumstances on Friday night.

Chen Ching-yu (陳京毓), 40, and her 20-year-old son, Chen Chin-chia (陳勁嘉), were each released on NT$100,000 bail by Hsinchu prosecutors, but because they were unable to pay bail, prosecutors requested the Hsinchu District Court detain the pair.

The court on Saturday ordered that Chen Ching-yu be detained, while her son was freed, but barred from leaving his current residence.

However, Chen Ching-yu was released after a woman paid NT$100,000 to the district court for her yesterday.

Prosecutors said the pair would be charged with negligent homicide.

Chen Ching-yu was babysitting four infants, two of whom died.

Police said a six-month-old girl was found strangled by a computer mouse wire and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.

Another two-month-old baby girl had choked to death after vomiting in her sleep, police said.

The case prompted prosecutors at the Hsinchu District Court to investigate Chen.

There are no regulations regarding the maximum number of toddlers to which a caregiver can be entrusted, according to the county government’s Social Affairs Department.

New amendments to the Protection of Children and Youth Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法), which was passed in 2011, stipulate that the maximum number of infants can be entrusted with one caregiver is four.

However, the new regulations will not come into effect until Nov. 30.

Prosecutors said they will perform autopsies on the babies to confirm the cause of their deaths.