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Mother throws baby into river

SHANGHAI police have ordered an autopsy on a two-month-old baby girl who allegedly drowned after being tossed into the Huangpu River by her mother on Wednesday.

Shanghai Marine Police said the autopsy will determine whether the mother fatally injured the baby, who had a congenital disability, before throwing her in.

The woman will also undergo a mental illness appraisal as she looked agitated when police retrieved the body, but she couldn't remember the episode during questioning, police said.

The mother, a 24-year-old woman from southwest China's Guizhou Province, was spotted pacing back and forth with the baby in her arms at Longhua Riverside Leisure Square in Xuhui District along the river's north bank about 5:30pm on Wednesday, said a witness who was exercising there at the time.

Witnesses said that minutes later the baby was thrown into the river and the woman didn't make any attempt to rescue her daughter.

"We heard frantic crying and then saw something floating in the river," said a witness surnamed Chen.

Many passers-by tried to use wooden sticks to rescue the baby, but failed to reach her as the built up bank was 5 meters above the river. The crowd saw the infant float away on the ebb tide.

"The woman just watched our fumbling efforts and wept quietly," Chen said.

The baby's father, the woman's live-in boyfriend, arrived at the scene later. The Jiangxi Province migrant worker told the crowd they had argued recently over abandoning their daughter. The father, who insisted on keeping the baby, told them he ran out to find his girlfriend and daughter when he came home and found them missing.

Neighbors of the couple said the couple had seen many doctors to cure their daughter, but all had failed. Arguments over whether to dump the baby were often heard, neighbors said.

Police retrieved the body near a sewage station about 20 minutes after the girl was tossed into the river.


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