Tragic case of dead baby Leonardo gets further explanation

The mystery of what a Portuguese baby was doing in Toulouse, hundreds of miles from his biological parents, when he was admitted to hospital brain dead has found some clarity today as a 24-year-old Portuguese woman remains in preventive custody suspected of his murder.

Little Leonardo, as he has been called by the French press, was the nephew of the woman’s 29-year-old partner who accompanied the two-year-old as he was admitted to hospital last Saturday.

According to media reports, the uncle has explained that he ‘rescued’ the child from an institution in Portugal after the baby’s mother had put him up for adoption.

Initially arrested alongside his partner, the uncle has since been released on suspicion merely of “omission of help” to his nephew.

Maria do Céu, the woman in custody – originally from Paços de Ferreira but living in France since 2012 – is suspected of having smacked Leonardo on the head, reports Correio da Manhã.

Investigations are still ongoing, but the facts so far appear to be that doctors trying to resuscitate the baby detected a “deep bruise” on his head. The ‘subdural hematoma’, as it was described yesterday, lead to suspicions of abuse.

The uncle and his partner both affirmed that Leonardo had respiratory problems – and neighbours have attested to the fact that the child “cried a lot” – but little else will be known before the results of an autopsy, which is due to be performed soon, says the paper.

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