ATHENS (Reuters) – A mother and her partner have been arrested in Greece over the killing of her seven-year-old son by suffocation five years ago and an investigating judge on Tuesday charged them with manslaughter, state ERT TV reported.
The killing of the boy, identified only as Andreas, who police said was abused and suffocated after his mouth was sealed with insulation tape, is one of the most shocking cases of child abuse to surface in Greece in recent years.
A police statement said the boy was killed in 2017 but the case came to light only on Saturday when investigators, acting on a tip-off received in November, found a toolbox containing two bags of human bones in the apartment shared by the boy’s mother, 29, and partner, 33, who was not the child’s father.
The couple were detained over the weekend and appeared on Tuesday before an investigating magistrate, who formally charged the two with manslaughter and remanded them in custody pending trial, ERT reported. The couple’s names were not released.
The police statement said the mother’s partner smothered the boy in her presence and she did nothing to stop him.
Outside the court, the man’s lawyer, Alexis Filios, told reporters that the defendant had “a certain way of punishing” the boy but has denied physical abuse. He said the man told the court that the mother took no part in acts against the boy.
The police statement said the boy’s body was cemented into the wall of the roof patio of another apartment building where the couple lived at the time of the killing.
It said that when the couple moved to their current apartment, the man took the bones with him in a workers’ toolbox which he later hid in a wooden sofa on their balcony.
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, Deborah Kyvrikosaios and Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Mark Heinrich)