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CRIME

Mother confesses to killing five-year-old son

Police in Vienna have taken a young woman into custody after she confessed to killing her five-year-old son.

Mother confesses to killing five-year-old son
File photo: Wikimedia

The 25-year-old woman was wandering on the Höhenstraße near the Vienna Woods on Tuesday when a police car passed her. She waved it down and told them she had killed her son.

After hearing her confession police searched her apartment in Favoriten and discovered the body of a child lying under a blanket.

According to police spokesman Paul Eidenberger the body had “superficial injuries” and there was clear signs of “foul play”.

The woman told police she had killed her son a few days ago. She then checked into a bed and breakfast and took some medication.

Police have ordered an autopsy of the child’s body and the woman will be questioned by detectives on Wednesday.

At present it's unclear what the woman's motive was or if she is suffering from mental health issues, although Eidenberger said she was in a “confused” state.

Police have also questioned the child's father, who does not live with the 25-year-old woman. He told police that they had not had a good relationship and that the woman suffered from depression.

Neighbours told police that the couple frequently quarrelled.

CRIME

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

An Austrian court on Monday sentenced a people smuggler to seven years in prison over the deaths of two Syrians who suffocated in the crammed minivan he was driving, Austria's news agency reported.

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

The bodies of the two men were discovered last October when Austrian authorities stopped and searched a van at the border with Hungary.

Thirty people in total were crammed in the vehicle, whose driver fled the scene but was later arrested in Latvia and extradited.

The 19-year-old Latvian was found guilty of people smuggling and causing fatal injuries, but was not found guilty of murder, APA reported.

READ MORE: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

He said he would accept the verdict, but the prosecution can still appeal it, APA said.

A court spokeswoman could not immediately be reached by AFP. 

Austria’s interior ministry announced in May that police had smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of mostly Syrians, including the two found suffocated, from Hungary to Austria.

A total of 205 people suspected to be linked to the group have been arrested in central and eastern Europe, the ministry said.

Those smuggled, including children, were trying to reach western European countries, including Germany and France.

The October discovery of the dead men recalled a dire event in August 2015 when 71 people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan suffocated in the back of an air-tight van where they had been hidden by people smugglers.

The bodies, including those of three children and a baby, were discovered in Austria but they had died while still on the other side of the border.

Almost four years later, the Hungarian courts sentenced their smugglers to life imprisonment.

The emotion aroused by that tragedy triggered a brief opening of the borders to hundreds of thousands of people wishing to reach Western Europe.

But Austria and other European countries have since fortified borders to stop people smuggling.

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