A woman in Klaten Regency, East Java was arrested on suspicion of neonaticide, motivated in large part by difficult circumstances in her household.
Desi Yulita, 28, gave birth to a baby boy on Feb. 8 at home, alone and unassisted. Moments later, she covered his nose and mouth with her hand for two minutes, killing the newborn.
Desi then took the baby’s body some 500 meters from her house and tossed him into an irrigation ditch. The body was later discovered by locals, which led to Desi’s arrest on Monday.
The Klaten Police held a press conference on Thursday, during which Desi, a mother of two, was brought out to explain her motivation for killing her third child.
“I was scared because my husband rarely comes home and that he wouldn’t claim the baby [as his own],” Desi said, as quoted by Detik.
According to Desi, the baby was actually her husband’s, but she was worried that because he could go away for months at a time, he would suspect that the baby was someone else’s.
“He last came home a month ago. He still doesn’t know about this incident,” Desi said.
The police say they believe Desi’s confession as they found no evidence that she was having an affair.
“Nobody knew about her pregnancy. She was scared of being accused of having an affair, whereas, in truth, she was still intimate with her husband, although very occasionally,” Andriansyah Rithas Hasibuan, who heads the Klaten Police Crime Investigation Unit, said.
Despite her worries, Desi told the police that she’s aware that her husband is seeing another woman.
Under Indonesian law, infanticide is a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison, with provisions for extending the punishment if the perpetrator is related to the victim.