Five-year-old boy found dead in French street after parents ‘punish him for bed-wetting’
A five-year-old boy has been found dead and stripped to his underwear in a French street, after his mother and step-father allegedly physically punished him for wetting the bed.
The child was found by police in the northern village of Aire-sur-la-Lys, having suffered a cardiac arrest. He had a broken nose and skull injuries, and his underwear was wet.
He was named locally as Yanis, according to French media reports, and his mother and step-father have been arrested on suspicion of assault causing death without intention to kill.
He died between Sunday night and Monday morning, with a fire and rescue team first on the scene around 2.30am and police arriving by 3am. It was his stepfather, 30, who initially alerted rescue services.
The boy was found 200 metres from a small dwelling belonging to his step-father, alongside a canal but otherwise isolated in a forest. His mother, 22, lives at another address in the centre of the village but spent the night at the cabin.
The unemployed couple, who have no other children, were arrested early on Monday morning.
Patrick Leleu, the prosecutor for the local Saint-Omer area, said: “There is sufficient evidence to place [the couple] in custody, in relation to their initial explanations and their arrival on the scene.”
An autopsy on Monday afternoon found the boy had died of “a variety of skull injuries, some compatible with falls, others incompatible.”
The same local newspaper reports that school friends of the boy were “in shock” on Monday. His mother’s friends said she conducted herself normally with her son, adding they would never have imagined such an event happening to her family.