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A 20-YEAR-old Romanian housemaid yesterday strangled her newborn son only seconds after giving birth, police said.

The young mother used her bare hands to kill the child. She then placed her son in a plastic bag.

Whether she planned on disposing of the newborn’s remains is yet unclear.

The woman, who is at a private Nicosia clinic after undergoing surgery related to her recent birth, was employed as a housemaid by her sister who is married to a Greek Cypriot. Reports said the 20-year-old had only arrived to work on the island 10 days ago. She told police no one had been aware of her pregnancy until yesterday.

The child was found in a plastic bag on an apartment balcony on Athanasios Diakos Street in Lakatamia in Nicosia at around 10.30am yesterday. The find was made by the 20-year-old’s Romanian flatmate who then notified the woman’s brother-in-law, reports said. He then notified police.

Nicosia CID and the police headquarters’ crime service were immediately dispatched to the scene, as was state pathologist Nicholas Charalambous.

The young woman is thought to have had a natural birth. Her son was born prematurely at seven or eight months, police said. He was alive at the time of his birth, according to Charalambous.

Police said the newborn displayed external injuries, cuts to the face and marks of being strangled. Investigators found a knife and bloodstains in the apartment bathroom.

The police questioned the 20-year-old mother at the clinic where she was being treated. She reportedly told investigators that the baby had been stillborn.

She was placed under arrest and was last night still at the clinic under police guard.

The state pathologist said it was highly unusual for a mother to kill her own child. Although Charalambous said he had witnessed infanticide committed by a mother before, he said it was the first time he’d experienced such a case in Cyprus.

It is believed the 20-year-old will be arrested following her release from the clinic.

Nicosia CID is investigating.

By Alexia Saoulli -

|||Mother ‘strangled baby at birth’
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