SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A cemetery caretaker who was wanted for questioning about the bodies of six newborn babies found discarded near the cemetery in the Dominican Republic’s capital turned himself into authorities Friday, police said.
The man, identified as Hilario Pascual, spoke in a video statement posted online before he turned himself in alleging that the bodies had been dropped off at the cemetery after hours and that he had already started drinking and forgot about them.
The incident shocked and perplexed many in the Caribbean country. The bodies were found just outside the cemetery in Santo Domingo early Wednesday and prompted police to launch an investigation.
A spokeswoman for Juan Bosch City Hospital, located nearby, said the institution had transferred the bodies of six newborns Tuesday to funeral home El Popular for proper burial. The owner of the funeral home, identified as Julián Encarnacion Montero, told Noticias SIN that the bodies were taken to the cemetery and given to the caretaker.
The newborns had died on different dates of different causes, according to authorities who said parents don’t always claim the bodies because they are unable to pay for a funeral or burial.
Hospital officials have said that several weeks can go by between a death and a burial because a funeral home is contracted once the institution has a certain number of bodies.
Source : apnews