Thursday 18 October 2018

Newborn baby buried alive by family rescued after seven hours

Police are now investigating

This handout picture released by the Brazilian military police shows a newborn baby from the Kamayura ethnic group who was buried alive in the backyard of a house in the city of Canarana, Mato Grosso state on June 5, 2018. Police dug with their hands to rescue the baby after they were alerted and arrived at the scene hours later. The child suffered respiratory issues but is alive and well. / AFP PHOTO / Brazil Military Police
This handout picture released by the Brazilian military police shows a newborn baby from the Kamayura ethnic group who was buried alive in the backyard of a house in the city of Canarana, Mato Grosso state on June 5, 2018. Police dug with their hands to rescue the baby after they were alerted and arrived at the scene hours later. The child suffered respiratory issues but is alive and well. / AFP PHOTO / Brazil Military Police

Chris Baynes

A newborn baby survived being buried alive by her family for seven hours.

The indigenous girl was rescued by Brazilian police in the Xingu National Park in Mato Grosso state, which is home to many of the country’s tribes.

Officers dug the naked child, her umbilical cord still attached, out of the sand in a backyard in the town of Canarana.

They found the baby in a 50cm pit following an anonymous tip-off, O Globo reported.

The girl’s great-grandmother, 57, has been arrested and faces an attempted murder charge.

"We are investigating whether it was an attempted infanticide or if she thought the baby was dead,” state prosecutor Paulo Roberto do Prado told AFP.

The family, who are members of the Kamayura tribe, reportedly told police the baby had hit her head on the floor after her 15-year-old mother gave birth on Tuesday.

They said they assumed the girl was dead because she was unresponsive and had buried her in accordance with indigenous customs.

But police grew suspicious because of the teenage mother’s age and because the baby’s father had refused to recognise the girl as his child.

After being rescued, the baby was rushed to neonatal intensive care at Boa Agua Hospital with hypothermia and a respiratory problems.

She has taken been taken into care by the state.

The baby’s mother and grandmother were also detained by police but have since been released.

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