A bizarre rash of soiled diapers dumped along a stretch of rural road in the municipality of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, east of Quebec City, has prompted the local mayor to order DNA tests to try to catch the culprit.
Mayor Rosaire Ouellet told CBC that since July, someone has dumped about 30 bags — each containing three or four dirty children's and adult diapers — along a 1.5-kilometre stretch of Highway 230.
"That's no way to live in a society in 2017," Ouellet said. "We're not in the Middle Ages!"
Ouellet said the bags, containing the soiled diapers and nothing else, appear about every two weeks.
He said the municipality didn't want to bother police with the matter, so it's asked local residents to keep an eye out.
So far no one has any clue as to the identity of the mystery diaper dumper.
That's prompted Ouellet to send one of the bags to a private lab in Montreal.
"We want them to do DNA test on the excrement, so that if eventually we catch suspect about, we could compare their DNA with the sample tested and have more evidence," Ouellet said.
Public health risk
He said the roadside diapers are unslightly and pose a clear public health risk.
"Even though they're in plastic bags, when you throw those bags on the ground, sometimes they open up," Ouellet said.
He said municipal workers have tried to gather up the mess, but the bags and diapers can be hard to see against the snow.
"In winter it's not as big of a problem because everything's frozen, but it'll thaw in spring," Ouellet said.
Ouellet said he has no idea who may be behind the unsavoury littering, although he wondered if it might be someone operating an illegal daycare who's hoping to remain undetected.