Tochigi Prefectural Police arrested Toshiko Saito, 63, on suspicion of murdering her husband Rokuro Saito, 71, by lacing his cabbage miso soup with a large quantity of sleep-inducing drugs on Aug. 10, 2014, at their home in Nogi, Tochigi Prefecture, the Sankei Shimbun reports (June 13).
Toshiko admitted to the charges, telling police she also drank the laced miso soup because she “wanted to die together.”
“I made [Rokuro] drink cabbage miso soup laced with 200 sleeping pills,” Saito told police in a statement.
After Toshiko drank the miso soup on Aug. 10, 2014, she was rushed to the hospital in an unconscious state. The suspect was arrested after she was released from the hospital on Monday.
Police said a local passerby noticed an unconscious Rokurou with his head sticking out of a window of their residence at around 9:45 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2014.
Toshiko has a history of psychiatric treatment, and built up a massive quantity of sleep-inducing agents by lying to her doctor that she used up her prescribed sleeping medication.
Police discovered some 500 tablets worth of empty sleeping pill boxes at the Saito residence.
Toshiko also tried to commit suicide twice in the past, according to police.
Police said the couple had a troubled relationship and lived separated under the same roof, with Toshiko in the main house and Rokuro in a prefabricated dwelling.
TBS News quoted a neighbor as saying the “couple was living separately, so it’s probably safe to say they didn’t have a great relationship.”
A nearby female neighbor told the Nishi Nippon Shimbun that she “heard he died because of an illness.”
A male neighbor also said, “I didn’t see the wife around after I heard she was also going to be hospitalized following her husband’s death, so nobody was at their home for a while.”