Spain: 3 children found dead

AP News
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Posted: Aug 15, 2011 10:10 AM
Spain: 3 children found dead

Three children were found dead Monday at a home for disabled kids and a woman who worked there has been taken into custody, officials said.

Cecilio Vadillo, a representative of the Interior Ministry in the northern Castilla-Leon region, said the children, aged 3, 9 and 14, were found after police were summoned to the home in the small town of Boecillo.

Police found the three special-needs children and a 55-year-old woman who worked at the home with cuts to the head and wrist that could be consistent with a suicide attempt, Vadillo said.

Vadillo said she is in custody at a hospital but has not been arrested, and the cause of the children's death is under investigation.

An official in Vadillo's office said one hypothesis that police are working under is that the caretaker suffocated the children _ who were severely disabled and had very limited mobility _ with a plastic bag in what she saw as a mercy killing. This official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department rules.

The home could house six children but was occupied by only three at the time of the incident.

The caretaker in custody had worked the overnight shift. A colleague found her in the morning lying in a bathtub and bleeding, the official said.

The home is run by a Spanish charity called Mensajeros por la Paz, the president of which, the Rev. Angel Garcia, said the tragedy was "an act that can only stem from madness."

Two of the children were Spanish and the third was from the former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea. The caretaker is of Uruguayan origin.

She had worked at the home for six years and there had never been any problem with her, according to the Castilla-Leon minister of family issues, Milagros Marcos.