Osaka cops: Married couple confined 3-year-old boy prior to his death

Female suspect denies ill-treatment, 'He was a clumsy boy, and he committed self-mutilation. We did not abuse him'

Wataru Tsunemine (right) and his wife, Mika
Wataru Tsunemine (right) and his wife, Mika

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 32-year-old man and his wife for over the alleged confinement of their son, 3, that led to his death in Sakai City, reports the Asahi Shimbun (July 27).

Between 3:15 p.m. and 7:44 p.m. on June 14 of last year, Wataru Tsunemine, 32, and his wife, Mika, 23, allegedly locked their son, Hidenori, inside a bathroom in their residence, located in the Kashiwagicho area.

After being found unconscious, the boy was then taken to a hospital where he died four days later. The cause of death was determined to be a brain injury brought about by asphyxia.

Since an examination of the child’s body revealed burn marks, including cigarette burns, and bruises, police are also investigating the couple for ill-treatment, according to TBS News (July 27).

Both Tsunemine and his wife, who also have a daughter, deny the charges. In an interview with the Asahi in January, Mika told the paper that the boy had fallen unconscious during a bath.

“When my husband returned from the toilet, the boy had fallen in the bathtub with his face under the water,” she is quoted. “He was a clumsy boy, and he committed self-mutilation. We did not abuse him.”

Comment On This Article