A French farmer reported finding the body of a baby at his home and when police came to search the house, they discovered four more infant bodies hidden in a freezer.
The unidentified farmer, 40, contacted police Thursday after finding the newborn’s body in an isothermal bag at his home in the southern French town of Louchats, senior police official Christophe Crépin said Friday.
Police searching the home then uncovered four other baby corpses in a large freezer, Crepin said, according to a New York Times report.
The farmer has been detained for questioning and his wife, 35, was in a hospital undergoing psychological and gynecological exams.
The police investigation so far appeared to suggest that the mother had given birth to a baby alone at home, Agence France-Presse reported. But she had been seen by neighbors as recently as three weeks ago and did not appear pregnant.
Investigators are considering several possible explanations for the deaths, including infanticide, the babies being stillborn, or that the mother had been suffering from a psychological condition that caused her to deny she was pregnant.
News reports said the man had told the police that he had not known his wife was pregnant. The couple have two daughters, ages 13 and 15.
Police said autopsies would be performed on the infants’ bodies Friday.
In 2010, the bodies of eight newborn babies were found buried in the garden of a home in Villers-au-Tertre, in the north of France. Dominique Cottrez—the mother of the children-- told police she had killed them because she believed they were the product of incest.