Story By: Angjela Trajkovska, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Thirteen dead babies whose tiny bodies were never claimed by their parents after being taken to hospital have been discovered apparently forgotten in a freezer.
The 13 corpses were found in the central Serbian city of Kraljevo and Mayor Predrag Terzic told local media that the problem occurred because until last year, authorities were not responsible for the burial of dead newborns unclaimed by their parents.
Most of the babies were stillborn after being carried to term, but at least one was identified as a baby who had been found in a landfill site in 2016 and had apparently been born alive but later died after being dumped.
Meanwhile, Radisa Pavlovic, member of the Commission for Missing Children, said: “How it ended up here when it should have been buried is not clear to us. With regards to the other 12 infants, the local authorities are currently trying to establish their identities.”
He added that all 13 babies were found in hospital freezer in plastic bags.
Kraljevo General Hospital Deputy Director Dragan Kaljevic said technically the bodies had not been forgotten and suddenly found, saying: “Nothing has been found because we were not hiding anything. The dead newborns have not yet been buried because we did not know what to do with them.”
Kaljevi explained that the parents were not obliged by law to claim the baby bodies and bury them, therefore if they were unwanted they were simply put in the freezer.
With the hospital and local authorities refusing to claim responsibility, the outcome is currently unclear.