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crime

Swiss fugitive kills 10-month-old son and attempts suicide after arrest

Katharina Katit-Stäheli was detained in Alicante after international warrant was issued

Swiss citizen Katharina Katit-Staheli in an image released by Spanish police.
Swiss citizen Katharina Katit-Staheli in an image released by Spanish police. AP

A Swiss national arrested on an international warrant on Wednesday killed her 10-month-old son and then attempted suicide while under the custody of the Civil Guard.

According to sources close to the investigation, Katharina Katit-Stäheli asked the officers guarding her and her son in an Alicante hospital if she could change the child's diaper. She then slit the baby's throat and attempted to take her own life. Doctors described her condition as "uncertain."

It is thought that Katit-Stäheli was carrying the knife in her handbag when she was arrested at a Carrefour supermarket in Torrevieja. Prosecutors in Zurich issued the arrest order after Katit-Stäheli illegally took her son, Dylan, out of the country on Christmas Eve. He had been made a ward of the state and was under constant medical attention because he suffered from hydrocephalus, or water on the brain.

It is thought that Katit-Stäheli was carrying the knife in her handbag when she was arrested

When the order was received Tuesday by the Civil Guard through the Sirene system connecting forces within the Schengen Area, a photograph of Katit-Stäheli, one of her son and the registration of her car were released. A resident of the area spotted her in the supermarket and she was arrested immediately. Mother and son were then taken to hospital where the boy received treatment for his condition.

At around 11pm, Katit-Stäheli asked the officers if she could change his diaper and bathe him. Although she had been under constant guard until that point, Katit-Stäheli was given leave to take her son out of the sight of doctors and the police.

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