SAITAMA (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police earlier this month arrested a married couple in the town of Ina on suspicion of neglect after their 4-year-old daughter died just over two years ago, reports Jiji Press (Mar. 6).
Kokoro died of due to hypothermia on December 21, 2017. An examination of the body of the girl showed that she was malnourished.
On March 6, police accused self-employed Yuki Iwai, 30, and his wife, 28-year-old Masumi, of negligence as a guardian resulting in death.
Police allege that the suspects were aware that their daughter was malnourished yet failed to seek appropriate medical treatment.
Police did not reveal whether the suspects admit to the allegations.
At around 4 p.m. on December 21, 2017, Kokoro nearly drowned while bathing with Masumi. The girl then stopped breathing. The child was later confirmed dead at a hospital.
Police also said that Kokoro suffered bruising over the length of her body, which has led them to suspect that she was regularly abused.
Before they were arrested, the couple told TBS News that they struck the child as a means of “home discipline.” However, Masumi said that she was solely responsible for child care and house work. “I was under stress since my husband did not provide help at home,” she said.