Teen parents convicted of leaving baby to die in underground Amsterdam dumpster
The two teenagers who left their newborn daughter in a garbage container in Amsterdam-Zuidoost in February 2021 were sentenced to 15 months of juvenile detention on Tuesday. The sentence also covers the killing and burial of another baby in 2019.
Both parents are now 20 years old. Because of their young age, the case was handled behind closed doors. The court found the parents guilty of murder in the case of the baby found buried and attempted murder for the baby found in the container. On Tuesday, the court described these acts as “incomprehensible.”
Firefighters found the newborn girl in an underground trash container on February 21, 2021. A passerby who believed they heard a baby crying from inside the dumpster alerted emergency services. Firefighters located the baby inside a yellow Jumbo shopping bag that had been discarded.
The baby was sent to the hospital. Her 17-year-old parents were arrested two days later but were released from pre-trial detention after a hearing in front of a juvenile court judge in Amsterdam. The child was then placed in a foster home. She is now 2.5 years old and, according to the court, is doing well under the circumstances.
Gerald Roethof, the lawyer for the baby's father, previously said the parents thought their daughter had died. He added that the two minor-aged suspects had panicked and did not know what to do.
After investigating the teenagers’ phones, the police found messages that pointed to a previous baby. The child, also a girl, was born in December 2019 and lived only a day. The police found the remains of a full-term baby in the garden of the home where the female suspect lived. The circumstances of how the baby died remain unclear, and neither parent has been willing to comment on it.
In both instances, the court determined that the suspects had planned in advance for the babies not to remain alive. "There are no excuses for killing one child and leaving the second in an underground container,” the court declared, as reported by RTL Nieuws.
The court found their statement that they believed the baby had died implausible. Based on evidence, including WhatsApp and Snapchat conversations, the court concluded that the parents never intended to keep the child and had planned to end her life even before her birth.
Regarding the baby buried at their home, the court deduced from WhatsApp conversations that this was a case of premeditated murder. The parents notably texted each other, "If you go to the hospital, the child will live." The court noted, "It was clear that the child was very unwanted. The child was alive at birth and was killed after birth, with premeditation."
Due to the grave nature of their actions, the court sentenced both individuals to 15 months of unconditional juvenile detention. The woman also received six months of conditional juvenile detention, requiring her cooperation with treatment. The man received a conditional youth TBS measure, provided he follows treatment and resides in an assisted living institution.