Trigger warning: contains details of child abuse that may be distressing to some.
A heartless mother intended to orchestrate her own baby’s slow and agonizing death by making the infant starve to death. Baby Katya was found completely by accident when a friend of the mother’s happened to be curious about the weak and muted cries heard from one of the rooms in the house.
The baby’s 37-year-old mother, identified only as Yulia by local reports, kept the birth of her third child hidden from the rest of the world. Baby Katya was the product of a love affair that Yulia had with a married man right after she and her own husband broke their marriage off. The police revealed that Yulia didn’t even go to the hospital for any kind of medical assistance, neither before and nor after Katya’s birth.
Anyone who visited Yulia’s apartment in Russia would never be able to tell that there was a tiny baby in the house. There was no cot around and no baby clothes anywhere in the house. Yulia did not even bother keeping any baby food either. The mother would keep the little one inside a duffle sports bag and the bag would then be left inside a wardrobe in one of the rooms of her apartment, according to Mirror.
“She wanted to kill the baby but in the end didn’t have enough heart for it,” a source revealed, as quoted by The Sun. “She thought that perhaps the baby would die from starvation. She was found by accident.”
The only other person in the house who knew about the baby was Yulia’s 13-year-old son. The young teenager would secretly feed his little sister scraps of food to keep her alive. A family friend revealed that Yulia would threaten the boy if he told anyone about the baby. And so, there wasn’t much he could do apart from occasionally feeding her.
Months went on with Katya living in miserable conditions until a birthday party was held at Yulia’s apartment to celebrate her 13-year-old son’s birthday. That was when six-month-old Katya was accidentally found by one of Yulia’s friends.
“The mother was having a birthday drink with a friend, who asked why one of the rooms in her flat was always shut,” a source revealed. “A young woman who was there for the party heard a very weak, muted cry, and asked the mother about it. I think it’s just a doll there, it just cries by itself’, the mother answered. One of friends who went for a cigarette in the middle of the party decided to check that room after hearing the cry. She opened the wardrobe, looked in the bag, and found the baby.”
Once the officers were informed about the baby hidden in the wardrobe, they went to Yulia’s apartment and searched the flat to find the emaciated baby, who survived for months on only water and scraps of food from her older step-brother.
Valery Gorelykh, a spokesperson for Sverdlovsk regional police, was quoted by the Daily Mail saying, “It is hard to believe in this horrendous story. But however difficult it is to say this, it is true.”
After being found, Katya was airlifted by a helicopter and taken to the hospital. The doctors in the intensive care unit found the baby to be suffering from severe malnourishment.
As news of the incident spread, a family friend said, “People who know Yulia struggle to believe that she did it.”
Yulia was detained after the baby was found and is now in a criminal case for “torturing” her baby. According to Mirror, law enforcement officers revealed that a psychiatric clinic would be putting Yulia through an examination. If convicted for torturing her child, she could face a jail sentence of up to seven years.