Kaohsiung, A man and his mother suspected of killing a newborn baby in Kaohsiung and subsequently brought in for questioning were released on a bail late Monday.
The man, surnamed Lu (呂), is alleged to have put his 19-year-old daughter’s newborn baby into a plastic bag and discarded it in the Qianzhen River in Kaohsiung Sunday because “he did not see the newborn open its eyes soon or cry after birth and thought it was stillborn,” according to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office.
Lu’s mother, meanwhile, was determined by the office after a preliminary investigation to be complicit in the case for her role in coming up with the idea of throwing the newborn into the river. The baby has yet to be found.
Lu and his mother were released on bail of NT$50,000 (US$1,770) and NT$30,000, respectively.
Explaining the bail, the office said the case is still far from clear and the prosecutors will not be able to determine the details of the offense until the body of the newborn is found.
If forensic experts determine that the child was dead before it was abandoned, then the man could be sentenced to imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than five years for abandoning a corpse under the Criminal Code, according to police.
However, if the body is found and determined to have been still alive when abandoned, Lu could face charges of homicide and face a much longer prison term.
On Tuesday, the Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau told CNA that it dispatched three vehicles and one boat with a crew of eight to search for the body, teaming up with a local maritime rescue team and police officers to conduct a search-and-rescue mission along the riverbank.
As of Tuesday night, no body had been found.
The case first came to light when the 19-year-old gave birth to the child at her home on Sunday and subsequently went to a hospital, where it was discovered that the girl had just given birth. Because the baby could not be found, medical personnel were prompted to report the matter to police.
The girl lives with her grandfather, grandmother and father, but her family did not notice her pregnancy until she went into premature labor in the bathroom of their home, according to police.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel