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Woman, 24, accused of abandoning daughter, 3, to die: ‘I wanted to relax’

TOKYO (TR) – A 24-year-old woman in custody after she allegedly caused the death of her 3-year-old daughter by leaving her alone at their residence for more than one week has told police that she “wanted to relax,” reports Fuji News Network (July 10).

According to police, Saki Kakehashi, a 24-year-old bar employee, allegedly left her daughter Noa alone at the residence in Ota Ward between June 5 and 13 while she was in Kagoshima Prefecture with her boyfriend.

At around 3:55 p.m. on June 13, Kakehashi telephoned emergency services to report that Noa was not breathing. Personnel arriving at the residence transported the girl to a hospital where she was confirmed dead.

In the latest development, police said late last week that Kakehashi had become exhausted from raising Noa. “I wanted to relax,” she said in explaining her reasoning for abandoning the girl.

In a separate report, TV Asahi (July 9) reported that Kakehashi claimed to have made some preparations before her departure for Kagoshima. “I turned on the air conditioner,” she reportedly said. “I also left [her] with tea and food. My intention was to return quickly.”

Saki Kakehashi and her daughter Noa (Twitter)

Dehydration and hunger

Police previously said that the results of an autopsy revealed that Noa died due to dehydration and hunger.

Upon her arrest on suspicion of negligence as a guardian resulting in death on July 7, Kakehashi, a single mother, admitted to the allegations. “I didn’t think [she would] die. I thought [she would be] fine,” the suspect was quoted. She was sent to prosecutors on July 9.

Police also previously said that the suspect also visited her boyfriend in Kagoshima for three days in May, during which time she also abandoned Noa. She also left the girl alone to play pachinko after work.

Saki Kakehashi (Twitter)

Did not leave residence after early May

There are no records of Noa having undergone a recent medical examination. When a ward official visited the residence to inquire about the girl in May, Kakehashi was not present. Police believe the suspect was away on the trip at that time.

Based on security camera footage, the last time Noa left the residence was in early May, police said, according to TBS News (July 10).

After the suspect made the call to emergency services on June 13, she apparently used unspecified means to try to take her life. She was then hospitalized. Police arrested her upon her release.