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Mother suspected of killing newborn remanded in police custody

Against a backdrop of people shouting “murderer” and “you should be in prison for the rest of your life”, the young woman suspected of having killed her newborn by putting him in a plastic bag has been remanded into police custody, pending trial.

Rafaela Duarte, 23, was taken out of the Santarém court building by the back entrance as PJ police tried to reduce the possibility of a skirmish.

But locals outraged by the horror splashed over tabloid pages since last weekend (click here) were in full voice.

One told reporters that considering if Duarte did not want her child, she should have offered it up for adoption.

As it was, she is suspected of having asphyxiated the baby and leaving his body wrapped in a blanket on waste ground near a Santarém highway.

As the nation’s media has highlighted, this is the sixth Portuguese child to have died in as many months in terrible circumstances that point to maternal involvement (click here).

Meantime in the Azores, an autopsy has determined that three-year-old Tomás Silva was alive when his mother torched the car they were in, in a final attempt to keep her child to herself (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com