A 54-year-old Pole fathered at least three children with two daughters and then buried the killed newborns in the dirt floor of his basement. Polish media published details over the weekend after three dead infants were found under the basement floor of a single-family home in the village of Czerniki, southwest of Gdansk. The babies’ bodies were said to have been wrapped in plastic bags, the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper wrote.

The police had already found two dead newborns on Friday evening. “They were buried in the basement. There was no floor there, but tamped clay so that they could be dug up. The bodies were in various stages of decomposition,” a spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office told the portal of the Polish tabloid “Fakt”. Investigators found the third dead infant on Saturday morning.

On Saturday evening, the police were still looking for possible additional baby bodies at the crime scene, as the PAP news agency reported. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating the man and his 20-year-old daughter, who lives with him in the house, for murder and incest. A court has now ordered both of them to be in custody. Images and film footage published in Internet media and TV show that father and daughter apparently lived in poor conditions in a house that appeared neglected and dilapidated in the Pomeranian Voivodeship.

Neighbors report a couple in love

The man is said to have lived together as a couple with his 20-year-old daughter for years. Neighbors told the news portal “Fakt.pl” that he shaved her head so that she would be unattractive to other men. Nevertheless, she “viewed him like a god.” The two were seen walking hand in hand like lovers.

In the village with 180 inhabitants, people knew about the incest. “Everyone was talking about the father sleeping with the daughters,” one villager told the paper. The older daughter was also seen with a baby bump years ago. She is said to be the mother of one of the three dead newborns. The 54-year-old did not let anyone into his house; many in the town were afraid of him. He is said to have 12 children and his wife died in 2008.

Some time ago, the daughter’s work colleagues suspected that the woman was pregnant. She wore loose clothing and apparently wanted to hide her stomach. She took vacation three weeks ago. When she returned to work after a week, she appeared exhausted but rejected questions about having a child. Someone then informed the social welfare office, whose employees contacted the police.

The case brings back memories of a notorious sex offender from Austria: “The Polish Josef Fritzl” was the headline in Gazeta Wyborcza. Fritzl, who has since changed his name, kept his daughter prisoner for 24 years in a self-built cellar beneath his house in Amstetten, Lower Austria. He fathered seven children with her. One son died of illness shortly after birth. Fritzl explained to his wife and neighbors that his daughter had joined a cult. His double life was exposed in 2008, and a year later he was sentenced to life in prison.