Drug addict, mentally ill man arrested for drowning 10-month-old son

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The Hanoi police have arrested a drug addict and possibly mentally ill man for allegedly drowning his 10-month-old son to death last Saturday (December 22).

Police in Dinh Cong Ward questioned Tran Manh Ha, 31, following a complaint from his family before digging up a freshly cemented spot near his house and finding the baby.

Ha, who had earlier claimed not to know the whereabouts of his child, then confessed to the crime.

He had drowned the boy in a basin of water, put his body in a cement bag, buried it behind a monument for his forefathers, and cemented it over.

The child, Tran Van Binh, had been living with Ha's sister and brother-in-law since he was four months old. 

On Saturday evening Do Huu Manh, the brother-in-law, complained to the police that Ha had taken the child home that morning, but did not allow him and his wife to enter when they went to his house at 5.30 p.m. to take him back.

Ha had told Tran Thi Tuyet Lan, his sister and Manh's wife, that the boy had been either taken away by his wife or kidnapped, according to a VnExpress report. 

Binh was the second child of Ha and his estranged wife Nguyen Thi Dung.

 Tran Manh Ha

Ha told the police that Binh was not his son and he did not want to raise him.

Online newspaper Vietnamnet quoted a source as saying Ha often used to lock up his wife and older son in the house and beat them, and sheared her hair as punishment. Ha and Dung married nine years ago and separated two weeks earlier.

He had been admitted several times to a local mental hospital for treatment, but had walked out each time.

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