Relatives of a woman who hid her baby in the maggot-invested trunk of a car insisted on Wednesday that they had no idea of her secret, at a trial that has drawn horror in France.
Rosa Maria da Cruz, 50, faces up to 20 years in prison for keeping her daughter hidden away until she was nearly two, leaving her with serious mental disabilities.
Discovered in 2013 in the filthy trunk of a Peugeot 307, the baby Serena had also been kept in an unused room at the family home in the Correze region of central France.
It was a mechanic who found the baby in the trunk after da Cruz, who is originally from Portugal, took the car to be repaired.
Hearing a noise, he opened the trunk to discover the baby in a car seat, naked, filthy and dehydrated. She was surrounded by maggots and excrement.