A few hours later, Heinrich Götti was sitting in the pub, drinking and playing cards. When he spotted the sexton, he called out: ‘Another one has died, you can take it away’ – and ordered another glass of wine. The sexton was so shocked by his heartless attitude that he reported it to the village mayor, who filed a complaint.
The next day, the coroner carried out an autopsy on the dead infant. He concluded that the child was probably poisoned by sulphuric or nitric acid. Heinrich was arrested on suspicion of murdering his child. His wife Katharina was also arrested, but later released.
Their house was searched, and a bottle of nitric acid was found in a pipe in the outside toilet – the same substance that was used to poison the baby. The clothes of the baby also bore yellow stains that could have been made by acid.
Heinrich Götti denied the murder, but got tangled up in his web of lies, even claiming that he didn’t know how many children he had. The remarks he had made to his neighbours, the midwife and the doctor also attracted suspicion. On top of that, he had spent a few minutes alone with the child.