Airport officials in southern Vietnam say they have found a dead baby in the suitcase of a passenger who was about to board a flight.

Security personnel at Ho Chi Minh City's main airport say they discovered the corpse of a day-old girl when they scanned the suitcase of 20-year-old Vu Van Dat before he boarded a flight to to Hanoi on Wednesday.

Nguyen Van Quat of the airport authority says Dat told investigators that the baby belonged to one of his relatives and had died of natural causes shortly after it was born.

Quat says Dat told them his relatives asked him take the body to the family's home village in northern Thanh Hoa province, some 100 miles south of Hanoi.

The case has been turned over to local police.