29/10/2013 07:06 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Baby Living In Car Boot, Portuguese Couple Charged With Child Abuse In Dordogne, France

A Portuguese couple have been charged with child abuse after a malnourished and underdeveloped baby girl was found living in the boot of a car in the French region of Dordogne.

The naked, shivering little girl, believed to be aged between and 15-23 months-old, was found on Friday by mechanics working on the car in Terrasson, after they were alerted by groans coming from the rear of the vehicle.

Of the appalling discovery, Guillaume Iguacel told AFP: "I'm still having trouble sleeping, it was a horrifying sight, seeing this little girl in her own excrement, not able to hold up her head, white as a sheet."

The baby was found in the boot of a car by mechanics in this garage

Describing the mother's reaction, he added: "We were deeply shocked because she didn't find this abnormal."

"We told her to remove the little girl (from the boot) and give her something to drink right away."


During a press conference reported by Sud Ouest, local prosecutor Jean-Pierre Laffitte said: "The infant doesn't have the right size or weight for her age, she is psychologically delayed, and she displays a mentality and behaviour that don't conform to her age."

"The baby was hidden from all points of view, apparently since birth. It's a situation that defies belief," he added.

The couple are pictured being escorted to court in Brive-la-Gaillarde on 28 October

The little girl's mother, 45, and her 40-year-old partner were arrested on Friday and charged with child abuse and endangering a minor on Sunday. They face up to 10 years in prison if they are found guilty.

Le Parisiene reports the man claims not to have been aware of the little girl's existence. It adds the woman confirmed this to police during her interrogation, saying she had given birth in secret.

The unemployed couple's three other children have been taken into social care.