The woman, 28, who has been arrested on five counts of manslaughter, made a “comprehensive confession” after turning herself in as a six-year investigation closed in on her.
Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt, the head prosecutor in Flensburg, on Germany’s border with Denmark, said the woman, whose name was not released, had two living children, aged eight and ten. But in 2006, she began hiding her pregnancies, staying away from doctors and hospitals and killing the infants after giving birth. “She had the impression her husband would leave her if she had any more children, and that’s why she didn’t tell anyone she was pregnant, including her husband,” Ms Stahlmann-Liebelt said.
“She has said the family lived at a certain level of prosperity, that it was clear her husband did not want any more children, and that one reason was to preserve this standard, and she feared that might be endangered if another child were there.”
The husband told police he knew nothing about the pregnancies; it is not clear how she managed to keep them secret.
Police found the first baby’s body dumped in a paper sorting station in 2006 about nine miles away from where the woman lived. The second was found in a parking area about the same distance from her home but in a different direction in 2007.
After reading news reports that DNA results had confirmed the two children had the same parents, the woman decided not to dispose of the other bodies in public places and hid the next three in boxes in the basement of the building where she lived.