THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A baby boy abandoned in a southern Dutch city is still too young to know it, but he has a sister who suffered the same fate across the border in Germany less than two years earlier.
Prosecutors in the Netherlands and Germany said Friday that DNA tests have established that the boy found lying in grass wrapped in a white blanket in Roermond on June 18 has the same mother as a girl abandoned in October 2011 in Huerth, near the German city of Cologne.
The first baby, who appeared to have parents of European origin, was only about two days old when she was thrust into the arms of a man recycling garbage, said Cologne prosecutors' office spokesman Daniel Vollmert.
At the side of a road, a man was unloading recycling into containers when another man approached him and said in broken German, "Here, I found this," Vollmert said. He handed him the little baby girl, swaddled in a towel and blanket and then fled. Police were called, but they could never identify the man who abandoned the baby.
Both children are healthy and being cared for by foster families in the Netherlands and Germany, said Eugene Baak, a spokesman for the Dutch prosecutors who hope the new information will lead to tips from the public that could help authorities trace the children's biological parents.
It is not yet clear whether the siblings will, at some stage, be reunited. "The possibility is being investigated," Baak said. DNA checks showed that the children have the same mother. It is not yet clear if they share the same father.
The baby boy was discovered by in Roermond, 175 kilometers (110 miles) south of Amsterdam, on June 18. The baby girl was abandoned about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away on Oct. 20, 2011, in Huerth, near Cologne.
The girl's DNA was tested after she was abandoned and entered into a databank. That didn't help identify the mother, but Dutch authorities found that it matched the baby boy they found. Vollmert said it is still not even known whether the baby was voluntarily given up by the mother or taken away from her.
Associated Press writer David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.