Grandmother claims to have accidentally killed infant child before staging kidnap in Vietnam

The woman said she accidently suffocated the baby when she tripped and fell

Pham Thi Xuan (R) at the police station in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa. Photo: Thanh Hoa Department of Police

A grandmother in the north-central Vietnamese province of Thanh Hoa has admitted to faking the kidnap of her newborn grandchild after accidentally killing the infant.

The provincial Department of Police on Wednesday released an initial statement from Pham Thi Xuan, the prime suspect in the murder of her 23-day-old granddaughter.

Investigators and the provincial People’s Procuracy have agreed to pursue a murder charge against Xuan, according to Colonel Khuong Duy Oanh, deputy director of the Thanh Hoa police department.

Officers intend to continue their investigation until all details of the case have been clarified and accurate offenses can be determined, Col. Oanh added.

According to Xuan’s statement, the incident took place at the house of her son, Le Huu Thuan, in Bim Son Town on the evening of November 25. 

Xuan was at the house watching TV with the baby when the child awoke. 

Keeping her attention on the television, Xuan began walking around the room with the baby when she tripped on an uneven surface between the yard and the living room and fell.

Officers investigate the crime scene at the house of Le Huu Thuan. Photo: Thanh Hoa Department of Police
Officers investigate the crime scene at the house of Le Huu Thuan. Photo: Thanh Hoa Department of Police

Pham Thi Thanh Huyen, Thuan’s wife, was at home cleaning their bedroom, while Thuan was picking up their eldest son from a martial art class at the time of the incident.

Assuming the baby did not survive the fall, Xuan covered her with a blanket, brought her outside, and put her in a bag.

After hiding the child, Xuan faked a kidnap scene, declaring that a strange man and woman had abducted the girl.

On the morning of November 27, officers discovered a baby’s body in a local landfill and were able to identify the infant as Thuan and Huyen’s missing daughter.

An autopsy revealed “mechanical suffocation due to upper airway obstruction” as the cause of death.

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