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Mother murdered her babies and stored bodies in freezer


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Mother murdered her babies and stored bodies in freezer


Last updated at 18:57pm on 13th October 2006

CourjaultAFP_228x264.jpgVeronique Courjault




A mother who was tired of having children murdered three of her new born babies, storing two of their bodies in her freezer which she referred to as "the family tomb".

Veronique Courjault, a 38-year-old French woman who had two children now aged 10 and 11, suffocated each of the children, who were born in secret.

As she was put on remand in the town of Orleans, south of Paris, her 40-year-old husband Jean-Louis Courjault said he had known nothing about the crimes.

They emerged in July after police in Seoul, South Korea - where the couple were working as expatriates - found two of the babies in their freezer.

At first Mrs Courjault refused to even admit that the babies were hers, but DNA tests proved otherwise.

Yesterday she finally admitted she had killed them. Her lawyer, Marc Morin, said: "We have to clarify a number of points, but she has not disputed her responsibility."

According to investigators Mrs Courjault, who already has two sons aged 10 and 11, simply "did not want any more children".

In 1999, while still in France, she allegedly shielded her pregnancy from her husband, who was often away on business, and gave birth to a boy whom she "suffocated" and whose body she burnt in the fireplace of her family home.

In 2002 the Courjaults moved to South Korea. There, she confessed to secretly giving birth to a second boy whom she also suffocated. His body was put in one of the two large freezers kept in a separate room in the house in Seoul rented by Jean-Louis Courjault's company.

The following year, according to her confession, she again gave birth, again to a boy, in her bathtub. She again stopped the baby breathing and put his body in a supermarket plastic bag and placed him in the same freezer, next to his brother.

One investigator said she saw the freezer as a sort of "family tomb". But the third birth led to an infection which resulted in her having an ablation of her uterus, a procedure one step short of a hysterectomy that leaves the patient sterile.

South Korean investigators used tissue from that operation for one of their two DNA tests which proved the Courjaults were the parents of the babies.

Jean-Louis Corjault raised the alarm to police upon finding the two babies' bodies in the freezer on July 23.

He had left a family vacation in France to return to Seoul on urgent business and said he came across the corpses while putting away fish given him by his Korean language teacher.

Although questioned by South Korean officers, his obvious shock at the find alleviated suspicions against him and he was allowed to continue his vacation in France.

Later, when South Korean DNA testing showed he and his wife were the parents, the couple made their announcement that they were staying in France.

French investigators were combing the Courjaults' property near Tours, central west France, for any trace of the first baby the woman said she had killed and incinerated.

They were also preparing to go to South Korea.

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