FRENCH police have dug up the garden at the former home of a woman who admits killing eight of her newborn babies, an official says.

Police investigating the case of Dominique Cottrez, 45, who last month admitted the killings, returned to the garden where two of the babies were found, a source close to the case told AFP.

They used a digger “to see if there are other objects of any kind which could aid the investigation,” the source said.

Ms Cottrez was charged with multiple murders last month after she admitted smothering the babies.

The remains of two of the infants were found in the garden of her parents’ former home, where she had lived, in the quiet village of Villers-au-Tertre, northern France. A further six were found in the garage of her current home.

Relatives voiced disbelief at the time that Ms Cottrez, a nursing assistant, had hidden eight pregnancies and births and smothered the newborns, whose bodies were found in plastic bin bags.

They said the pregnancies had passed unnoticed due to her weight. Press reports said that Ms Cottrez weighed 130kgs.

According to prosecutors, Ms Cottrez said that after a difficult pregnancy with one of her two surviving daughters she had not wanted to go back to see a doctor, even to be prescribed contraception.