South Tangerang in western Indonesia. Photo: iStock.

Police are questioning a domestic worker who is believed to be the mother of a newborn baby found dead by sanitation workers in the western province of Banten. It is thought that the child died from starvation soon after birth.

Wrapped in a plastic bag, the baby was in a garbage can at a residential complex in Ciputat, South Tangerang, The Jakarta Post reported.

“[The workers] were shocked to see blood in the garbage can and initially thought it was an animal. It turned out to be a dead baby,” South Jakarta police criminal investigation commander Alexander Yurikho said. An autopsy had revealed that the baby was not born prematurely.

“The baby was born alive. Based on the [autopsy], it died of starvation,” he said.

A police spokesman said the suspected mother had been detained while she was being questioned. The gender of the baby was not disclosed.

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