The woman lies in the apartment, crying and shaking. Rykhus, the team’s crime scene investigator, will remember this moment for the rest of his life: the moment that delight overcame distress, leaving any trace of brutality to be shattered by an emotional outburst in the tiny studio apartment. In his life as a police officer, he is destined to see some of the most gruesome things imaginable, acts committed without restraint, but at this precise moment, inside this tiny, cramped apartment in which it is highly likely that a baby was born only 35 hours previously, he is shaken and still slightly stunned by events. The situation is overwhelming, and not only for the woman who has just been informed that the boy she believed to be dead is alive and well, and being cared for at the hospital. The tears stream down her cheeks.
Rykhus wanders around the apartment, combing it for clues. “I’ve found something over here,” he tells the others.A few bloody towels in a clothes basket. Their presence strengthens suspicions that a birth has taken place here, he concludes.Driving through the streets of Oslo, the police officers first take her to accident and emergency. Later that evening, they take her to the police station for her first interview. The officers want to take her into custody and prosecute her, with expectations that she be charged with the attempted murder of her newborn baby. The woman is assigned Benedict de Vibe as her defence lawyer. De Vibe attempts to calm her down:“Things will end well. It’s hardly surprising that the police are keen to find out more about what has happened. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
De Vibe can see that the woman is inconsolable, on the verge of a breakdown. She is clearly struggling with conflicting emotions: it’s wonderful to know that her child is alive, yet the allegation that she tried to kill her baby is a heavy burden to bear. She had been convinced that the baby had been stillborn!“I had no idea that it might be alive!” she cries.During the interview, which is carried out in English, the woman states that she is 31 years old, was married in the Philippines, and came to Norway in the springtime with her husband and a friend on a three-month tourist visa. Her husband had returned home in the summer, but she and her friend had stayed behind in an apartment that another Filipino woman had at her disposal in order to continue working.She concludes her story in the interview.“The baby was due at the beginning of November. I booked my plane ticket with plenty of time to spare before the due date,” she states.“I began to feel unwell on Tuesday morning. I stepped outside to get some fresh air. I wanted to take a walk, but I didn’t make it any further than a few metres before I felt contractions. Before I knew it, I was giving birth outside the entrance to the apartment block. The baby was on its way.”