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Mother on trial for hiding baby in car boot for 2 years

Relatives of a woman who hid her her baby in car boot for about two years, have insisted on Wednesday that they had no idea of her secret, at a trial that has drawn horror in France.

Rosa Maria da Cruz, 50, faces up to 20 years in prison for keeping her daughter hidden away until she was nearly two, leaving her with serious mental disabilities.

Mother on trial for hiding child in car boot for 2 years lailasnews 2
Mother on trial for hiding child in car boot for 2 years


Discovered in 2013 in the filthy trunk of a Peugeot 307, the baby Serena had also been kept in an unused room at the family home in the Correze region of central France.

It was a mechanic who found the baby in the trunk after da Cruz, who is originally from Portugal, took the car to be repaired.

Hearing a noise, he opened the trunk to discover the baby in a car seat, naked, filthy and dehydrated. She was surrounded by maggots and excrement.

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The trial, which opened on Monday, has heard remarkable testimony from relatives of how da Cruz was to all appearances a model mother to her three other children.

Her partner Domingos Sampaio Alves insists he had no idea she had given birth to another child and kept it a secret.

By way of explanation, he said he went only once a month on average to the small ground-floor room, under renovation, where da Cruz kept the baby much of the time.

He also did not visit the car often, as he does not have a driving licence.

“I don’t know why she did this,” he told the court in Portuguese through a translator.

The unemployed bricklayer was originally charged, but investigators concluded there was no reason to doubt his account.

Da Cruz was released pending trial, and the couple have stayed together.

“I continue to live with her because she is a good mother to the children,” Alves told the court.

They have kept their three older children — aged nine, 14 and 15 — but authorities have refused to let them have contact with Serena, who is now aged seven and living with foster parents.

In her opening testimony Monday, da Cruz fought back tears and told the court:

“It’s very hard to be confronted with reality, with the damage I have done.”

Serena now suffers from severe mental impairments including irreversible autism which medical experts have linked to sensory deprivation during her early months.

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A paediatrician who examined Serena and her siblings after the discovery said her team had been “stupefied” by “the gulf between Serena’s situation and those of her brothers and sisters”, who appeared to have been “perfectly raised”.

“You could see she had been a good mother, and we could not understand why Serena had not received the same quality of care at home,” the doctor said.

Judge Gilles Fonrouge said that while the child was now in good physical health, she was “closed off to interactions around her”.

Marie-Pierre Peis-Hitier, a lawyer for social services, said the child could only say a handful of words, adding that it had taken a full afternoon to win the child’s trust.

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In emotional testimony, da Cruz’s sister and nieces also said they had no idea of Serena’s existence, adding that she was a “loving” mother to the other children.

“Inside I think she is suffering. She knows what she has done,” her niece Elodie told the court.

The trial heard that da Cruz had initially hidden the pregnancies of two of her other children from her partner, not wanting to face reality.

Her partner Domingos Sampaio Alves insists he had no idea she had given birth to another child and kept it a secret.

119 Comments

  1. This is wickedness, how can a person hide her baby in a book for even a second not to talk of hiding a baby in the boot for years. Too bad

  2. Strange acts! It seems to me that the woman needs therapy. She’s not mentally balanced. If not, why would she do a thing like that to her very own child? This woman sure have a dark side.

  3. My first doubt is how was she pregnant and the man did not even know about it. A man who stays in the house with you? Neighbors also could have seen her bulgy stomach. Pregnancy can’t be hidden oh. Then the woman is a terrible human being. But maybe she suffered psychological issues. May God help us.

  4. how can i unread this cos this is definitely something out of the ordinary and will stay in my head for a very long time… I still dont get how she was able to keep the baby alive despite hiding her in the car boot for about 2 years. what could be her reason for hiding this particular one since she has other children like we were made to understand? the baby didnt die due to foul odour and maggots that might have gotten into her vital organs and so on. its normal for any baby left in such isolation to have issues that affects their mentality

  5. That is wickedness of the highest order a mother can do to her own child,people are really becoming more and more wicked ,let her be well tried

  6. I don’t get .. she kept her child in the boot for 2 years and she did not die but suffered from health illness? What kind of stuffs is this? Are you thinking what I am thinking

  7. That’s weird. Only an insane person as diagonized on her can do such not minding the emotional trauma and deprivation she has caused the child.

  8. How would she expect the older children to feel in as much as she has been a good mother to them but keeping such a secret is too bad. Let the law damper justice with mercy

  9. Some mothers eeh are just so heartless what was she thinking of . it didn’t even occur to her that she could be caught . the law will decided what to do her for depriving that child of everything good

  10. But how did the child survive two years inside the boot without dying ? I still don’t get it. She deserves the sentence.

  11. Wait I don’t understand. A mother hide a child she give birth to for two and nine months and no body know of it, how is that possible. I don’t think the child belong to the woman so think this case should be investigate well

  12. This woman is not only wicked but crazy. Why such an act?. Who is she hiding innocent child from. She need to answer these questions and also be examined and made to face the law.

  13. She wolf! Devil! A child she gave birth to…this is bad…she shoud have her brain checked..who says she is a good mother? No way!

  14. It could be that Rosa Maria da Cruz never wanted Da Cruz to get mad at her giving birth to another baby. And that was why she hid the baby all this while.

  15. Am sure she has a mental issue, they arebnit letting the truth out, she can’t be good to some of some of her children and bad to one, she should be properly checked

  16. What on earth was she thinking before deciding to put the child in the boot of a car, see the damage she has caused.

  17. Some women will never cease to amaze me… Why on earth would you do such a horrific thing to your own blood… In fact, dat woman is not well. She may be suffering from psychology problem or depression

  18. The woman is very wicked ,see what she has done to her own child.They should find out if she’s mentally stable,I don’t think anyone that is stable mentally can do such thing to her child.How come the husband didn’t know about Serena?is it that he didn’t know when she was pregnant.

  19. That’s horrific. How could someone do that to her own daughter. She should be cross examined and confirm is mental state.

  20. That’s horrific. How could someone do that to her own daughter. She should be cross examined and confirm her mental state.

  21. Seriously I don’t know what to say,is this wickedness or what I don’t understand, and what’s her reason for doing that

  22. Was she hiding the baby from his Daddy whatsoever your reasons are your a disgrace to womanhood, how can a sensible mother leave her child in the boot for 2yrs

  23. Women like Rosa Maria da Cruz, should not just be jail but should have been allowed to face jungle justice

  24. Most probably she was mentally I’ll at a time. If not there should be no reason to behave the way she did. Let the law take its cause

  25. If only she is a good mother, there should be no maggots in that area, but this sound as I the mother was insane

  26. How possible is it that she was pregnant for good 9 months and nobody knew, even after delivery and yet, they claimed they have been living together.

  27. She will not a mother she doesn’t possess the quality of a good mother. Why will you do that for your own child.

  28. What a wicked mother,,, women are crying for their own children but she had the guts to do this it’s so unbelievable

  29. Serena should not suffer because her mother’s reluctance to face reality. There is simply no excuse for this depraved act.

  30. How am i sure that she is not crazy because no right mind can ever keep his or her child for one hour talkless of two good years wow

  31. This is serious, this woman needs medical attention, serious one for that matter.unless intentionally done no woman can hide her pregnancy from her partner. the man needs to be punished as well because you cannot tell me you live with your wife for good nine months yet say it with boldness that you didn’t know your wife was pregnant

  32. This one surprise me what kind of mother is this she can’t be sane she have to go for a series of test imagine keeping baby for a whole two years

  33. What offence could the small baby have done to expose her into such a horrific idle life. This is hard to believe, a mother , haaaa

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