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A new born in a refrigerator


WRAS Rajapaksha ,

Faculty of Medicine, Ragama, LK
About WRAS
Department of Forensic Medicine
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NASP Wijerathna

Faculty of Medicine, Ragama, LK
About NASP
Department of Forensic Medicine
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Introduction: Killing of a baby by its own mother is known from biblical times to the modern era. Challenges faced by the forensic pathologist in an investigation of a case of infanticide include proof of live birth, age of the baby, link between the mother and the baby, and the commission or omission of an act causing the death of the baby by its own mother. The case under discussion illustrates how these challenges were met.

Case report: Thefresh body of an infant was found in the deep freezer compartment of a refrigerator in a house. Autopsy examination revealed a mature baby boy with multiple cut injuries in the neck. Lungs were fully expanded and there was aspirated blood in the distal air passage indicating signs of live birth. Medico-legal examination of the mother revealed breast engorgement and recent vaginal delivery including the presence of placenta. Psychiatric referral revealed moderate depression of the mother.

Conclusion: The case was an unusual case of infanticide where the mother killed her baby using a drastic method and concealed the body. Forensic investigations assisted in establishing live birth and maternal depression possibly associated with puerperal psychosis.

Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka 2013; 1(2) : 56-59

How to Cite: Rajapaksha, W. and Wijerathna, N., 2014. A new born in a refrigerator. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 1(2), pp.56–59. DOI:
Published on 13 Aug 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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