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Osaka court upholds 5-year prison term for mother over heatstroke death of child

OSAKA (TR) – The Osaka High Court last month upheld a 5-year prison term handed to the mother of a 1-year-old boy whose body was left in an ice chest after he died due to heatstroke, reports Kyodo News (Jan. 22).

In 2016, Reina Suzuki, 27, left her son in the vehicle for a 10-hour period while she visited a hotel with her 24-year-old boyfriend. The boy died of heatstroke. His body was then placed in the ice chest to conceal his death, according to the indictment.

Suzuki was accused of fatal abandonment as a guardian and abandoning a corpse.

“I did not think there was a danger of heatstroke,” Suzuki said during her first trial the Osaka District Court. However, the court described her actions as “dangerously malignant” in handing down the five-year term.

Reina Suzuki
Reina Suzuki (Twitter)

The defense appealed the ruling. However, the Osaka High Court upheld the ruling on January 22, telling the defendant that “though you have reflected upon [the matter], there is danger that you will do it again.”

Child consultation center sought whereabouts of the boy

Police found the body in the ice chest in the vehicle in November, 2016 after they were contacted by a child welfare center about the whereabouts of the boy. At the time, the results of an autopsy revealed that the boy died due to malnutrition, police said at the time.

“I thought the police would suspect abuse and arrest us, so I packed his body into the ice chest the same day,” Suzuki said upon her arrest.