Rescue workers who found the charred remains of a 2-year-old girl on a barbecue are investigating whether she was burned alive by her mother.
The child was found by firefighters and cops on Sunday evening when neighbours saw smoke coming out of a garage in Zemst, a town just to the North of the Belgian capital of Brussels.
The rescue workers found the remains of a young child, with over three quarters of her body fully charred, on a barbecue. According to local media, the neighbours heard the child scream shortly before the start of the fire.
The 27-year-old mother allegedly told cops at the scene: ‘We both had to burn alive, only this way we will enter heaven together.’
The mother, whose name was not reported due to privacy reasons, was taken to a hospital with severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Due to her physical and mental state she has not yet been interrogated by police investigators.
She has however been arrested in the hospital on suspicion of murder. The police and public prosecutor’s office is now investigating whether the girl was already dead before she was put on the barbecue or whether she was burned alive in the fire.
An autopsy on the young girl has already been performed, although the prosecutor’s office of Halle-Vilvoorde have not yet made the results public.
According to psychiatrist Hans Hellebuyck, it is ‘hard to estimate’ what exactly goes through peoples’ minds in cases like this. He said that if the mother did indeed say that she started the fire because only the soul of cremated bodies enter heaven, could be a sign of psychiatric problems.
Hellebuyck said: ‘If the woman made such remarks and truly meant them, it is possible that she is mentally ill. I am not saying it is like that, but it is something which has to be taken into account.’