A gruesome story has come out of Reading, Penn., worthy of any CSI or Law & Order script, where a 44-year-old nurse’s aide has been charged with murder after the remains of babies were found in her apartment. Michele Kalina was charged with causing the death of five infants whose remains were found in July. According to the Daily Mail, the remains were discovered by Michele Kalina’s disabled husband and teenage daughter in a locked closet.
Kalina was arraigned Tuesday for criminal homicide, aggravated assault, and various other charges after being held on abuse-of-corpse charges.
The mother of eight, according to authorities, had given birth to six children over a 14-year span while having an affair. The boyfriend, like the husband, was unaware of five of the pregnancies and the remains. Kalina had given birth to one child in 2003, reportedly fathered by the boyfriend, and given the newborn up for adoption. At least three of the dead children are believed to be fathered by the boyfriend.
Police say that at least four of the children were born at or near term and were alive at birth. Their deaths were the result of homicide, the result of asphyxia, poisoning or neglect. Tests on the fifth set of remains were inconclusive.
The husband and daughter had been forbidden to look in the locked closet over the years. Although the circumstances for going through the closet’s contents remain unclear, officers responded to a call in July from Michele Kalina’s daughter. The responding officers said they did not think the bones were human and told Kalina’s daughter and husband that they could throw them out.
Later in the day, police were summoned again. Investigators determined that the bones found were indeed human. A single bone from the thrown out remains was later recovered from a nearby landfill.
Two sets of remains were found in a cooler. Three more sets were found in a bag filled with cement.
When first questioned, Kalina told police she had forbidden her husband and daughter to ever go into the closet. She also said she “had been meaning to clean it.”
It is unclear why she brought the babies’ remains with her when her family moved from a house in Reading to a high-rise apartment.
Besides her daughter and the adopted child, also a girl, Michele Kalina was also mother to a son who suffered from cerebral palsy and died at a young age. Authorities do not believe his death was suspicious.
Kalina’s husband said he suspected his wife was pregnant at least once. Her boyfriend told authorities that he had never suspected it and that Kalina had told him she had cysts on her fallopian tubes that she had drained at the hospital. Those “cysts” tended to reappear over the coming years, he told them.
Michele Kalina’s macabre tale follows several stories out of Europe of mothers killing their own children over a period of years.
Dominique Cottrez, a 46-year-old French woman (and, oddly enough, also a nurse’s aide), confessed in July to killing eight babies over a period of years, hiding their bodies in a garden and the garage of her home. MSNBC also reported that a German woman was convicted in 2006 of killing eight infants and burying them in the garden of her parents’ home.
Michele Kalina told police she was an alcoholic and suffered from blackouts. She at first told police she had no idea how the remains of the babies ended up in her closet.
“Mother charged with murder after killing five…”, DailyMail.co.uk