Mother investigated after death of abandoned newborn

October 21, 2020 | 05:44 am PT
Mother investigated after death of abandoned newborn
Pham Thi Hao is being investigated for abandoning her newborn baby in the northern Thai Binh Province. Photo courtesy of Hao's Facebook page.
Police in the northern Thai Binh Province launched a criminal investigation on Tuesday against a woman for abandoning her newborn girl, who later died.

Pham Thi Hao, 26, investigated for "murdering or abandoning a newborn child," received bail since she has another child aged under 36 months, but is banned from leaving her residence.

She could receive a penalty of up to two years' community service or between three months and two years’ imprisonment, according to Vietnam's Penal Code.

On July 16, her father-in-law in Dong Hung District found a newborn girl with the umbilical cord still in situ abandoned in a sweet potato field. Her back was burnt red by the heat.

The man took the baby girl to a local medical center from where she was transferred to Thai Binh’s Children Hospital.

However, after 20 days of treatment, the baby died of septic shock on August 14.

The incident caused public outrage in the province, around 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Hanoi. However, Hao pretended to know nothing and "condemned the cruel mother" of the baby on Facebook.

Investigators said many family members had suspected Hao of being pregnant, allegations she strongly denied while keeping up appearances at home with her husband and three young children.

After DNA testing at the Institute of Criminal Science under the Ministry of Public Security, she admitted to having given birth to the child and abandoned her.

Hao told investigators she gave birth inside a toilet and then abandoned the girl in the field without her family's knowledge.

Due to suspicions the dead baby was fathered by another man, police are expanding their investigation, according to an officer in Dong Hung District.

Last June, Hanoi police detained a 31-year-old mother for abandoning her newborn son near a manhole in Son Tay Town. The boy succumbed to septic shock after 21 days of intensive care in hospital.

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