Newborn dumped in rubbish truck: Taiwanese woman says she panicked after baby slipped out

PHOTO: New Taipei City Police Department

She was just born but already thrown out like the trash.

The body of a baby girl, with placenta attached, was discovered by a rubbish truck operator in New Taipei, Taiwan, on Thursday (Aug 12) morning.

He was about to crush the rubbish when he spotted the plastic bag containing the child, the Central News Agency reported.

Although the man immediately alerted the police, the baby was already dead when they arrived at the scene.

A thorough review of the truck's dashcam footage and trash bags soon led the police to the baby's mother — a 43-year-old woman surnamed Chen.

They detained her for questioning, where she admitted to dumping her newborn daughter before she headed out for work.

Chen said that she experienced excruciating abdominal pain early that morning, and panicked after the baby slipped out while she was using the toilet.

She claimed that the child was stillborn.

The woman then wrapped the baby in a plastic bag and disposed of it in a nearby rubbish truck.

According to the forensic team, the child was conceived about seven months ago, and had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

An autopsy will help determine whether the baby died before or after the birth, said prosecutors handling the case.

Under Taiwan's law, Chen could face between six months and five years in prison if she is found guilty of disposing of a dead body.

But if she's convicted of abandonment resulting in the death of the baby, the woman could receive a life sentence.

Chen was released on NT$50,000 (S$2,400) bail on Thursday evening.

Her husband of over 20 years told Liberty Times that he noticed her weight gain about three months ago and asked if she was pregnant.

"No! Don't think crazy thoughts," she told him at the time.

The man, who has two sons with Chen, blamed himself for not pursuing the matter after she denied the pregnancy.

"It would be nice to have a daughter," he lamented.

lamminlee@asiaone.com