Indonesian mother hides newborn in washing machine out of shame that she had it out of wedlock, baby dies

Photo for illustration purpose only. Photo: Flickr
Photo for illustration purpose only. Photo: Flickr

A woman in the Indonesian city of Palembang has been arrested on suspicion of infanticide, in which the victim is her own newborn baby.

The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Sutina, was a babysitter who worked at the residence of South Sumatra’s former vice governor Ishak Mekki. On Monday, she gave birth to her baby by herself at the mansion. A couple of hours after the birth, she wrapped up the baby in cloth and hid it inside a washing machine.

“I put the baby in the washing machine, but I didn’t set it to tumble. I just wrapped it in a blanket because I was ashamed,” Sutina told reporters at a press conference held by local police yesterday, as quoted by Detik.

Sutina explained that she had the child out of wedlock, and that her boyfriend went MIA after finding out she was pregnant.

The babysitter said she never intended to kill the baby because she was only going to keep the baby in the washing machine for a little while.

“My plan was to take the baby to an orphanage, I had no intention to kill,” she said.

Sutina’s colleague at work found the baby after she heard its cries from inside the washing machine. The baby was then taken to a hospital, where it passed away.

Authorities say they’re conducting an autopsy on the baby to determine the cause of death.

Sutina was charged with infanticide under Indonesia’s Child Protection Law, and may face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Giving birth out of wedlock is generally considered taboo in Indonesia, and that stories about mothers dumping babies are depressingly common. In Bali, a woman is currently on trial for allegedly killing and dumping her newborn in a trash can in order to hide the shame of having the baby out of wedlock.

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