The baby boy who was left in a dumpster shortly after birth outside Hotel Frón on Laugavegur in Reykjavík on Saturday probably died while his mother was being treated at hospital.
The Landspítali hospital and Hallgrímskirkja church. Photo by Dagbjört Oddný Matthíasdóttir.
An autopsy was conducted this morning but details have yet to be revealed. However, the police assume the baby was born alive, ruv.is reports.
The woman, who is 21 and originates from Lithuania, is suspected of having left the baby in the dumpster and is being detained for murder. It has been 19 years since a similar case was reported in Iceland.
On Saturday morning the woman went to work at the hotel. She is believed to have given birth to the boy around 10 am. She then called her ex-boyfriend who wanted to take her to the hospital. They arrived at the Landspítali ER around 11 am.
The woman suffered abdominal pains and bleeding but denied having been with child. However, physicians were certain that she had recently given birth and notified the police. Neither her coworkers nor her ex-boyfriend knew that she had been pregnant. The infant’s body wasn’t discovered until the afternoon.
The mother is recovering and will probably be released from hospital today. She will be taken to prison where she will serve a two-week custody while the case is under investigation. She will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Fridrik Smári Björgvinsson, chief constable of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police, said that if found guilty, the woman’s sentence will depend on whether she realized she was pregnant.
A computer was confiscated from her home to determine whether she may have mentioned her pregnancy in writing. If she was aware of her condition, this may be classified a deliberate murder.
Nineteen years ago the body of an infant was discovered in the trunk of a car belonging to an Icelandic woman who was in her twenties at the time. It turned out that she had given birth in the bathroom of her parents’ home and then stuffed a bundle of paper into the baby’s throat.
The day after the woman went to work but her family suspected that something was wrong, searched her car and found the body. An autopsy showed that the baby had drawn breath after birth.
The District Court did not accept that the woman had been unaware of her condition and found that she had purposely murdered her baby. She was given an 18-month probational prison sentence, as stated in an article from Morgunbladid in 1993.
Click here to read more about last weekend’s story.