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Mother, daughter investigated for death of newborn baby in Samoa

A 24 year old woman and her mother are being questioned in relation to the secretive birth and burial of a newborn baby last week.

The women are from one of the villages in the Tuamasaga District on Upolu.

Police spokesperson Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu says charges of infanticide, concealing the death of a newborn baby and party to an offense could be filed against the two suspects.

“The police must be aware of whenever anyone dies so that way we can find out if their death was of natural cause or deliberate. However, in this case the two accused failed to report to police about the death of the baby,” said Su’a.

It is reported that the young woman gave birth at her home and her mother performed the delivery.

The older woman allegedly directed a man, who was at their home that night, to dig a hole to bury the baby.

The young man reportedly told his father, who is a former police officer, about the alleged incident.

A report was lodged with the police earlier this week.

“Right now we need the coroner’s approval in order to issue a post mortem. But investigations continue into the matter. However, it is likely that criminal charges will be filed after our first few witness interviews,” said Su’a.

If the coroner approves a thorough investigation into the matter, the body of the deceased infant will be dug up and transferred to Motootua Hospital for a formal autopsy.

The penalty for infanticide upon conviction is up to five years imprisonment. LoopSamoa
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