FRENCH authorities have launched an investigation following a shocking incident in which a malnourished baby girl was found in the boot of a car.
The incident has left France stunned after the baby was discovered under-fed and dehydrated by mechanics, when her mother brought the car to a garage in Terrasson.
The baby is believed to be between no more than 15 to 23 months old and there are fears she has been forced to live in the car since her birth.
She was discovered after the mechanics heard "bizarre noises, like moans" coming from the boot and opened it.
She was naked, had a fever and was lying in her own excrement. The girl was taken to hospital where doctors said she was suffering from delayed growth and mental problems.
Both the girl's 45-year-old mother and her 40-year-old partner were arrested.
The couple are understood to be of Portuguese origin.
They lived in the village of Brignac, which is around 10km from the garage where the baby was found. Both were charged with child abuse.
The mother told police that she had given birth in secret and hidden the baby's existence from everyone, including her partner, the girl's father.