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Woman accused of leaving daughter, 3, alone for more than week to die

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 24-year-old woman for allegedly leaving her 3-year-old daughter alone at their residence for more than one week, resulting in her death, reports NHK (July 8).

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

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.

The results of an autopsy revealed that Noa died due to dehydration and hunger, police said.

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

Saki Kakehashi

“Drank until morning”

According to police, Kakehashi and Noa had been living at the residence since around July 2017, when the suspect divorced the father of the girl.

Police added that Kakehashi regularly went out drinking at various locations in the capital while leaving Noa alone at home.

“It wasn’t often that she drank until morning, usually returning on the last train,” one male bar employee, who didn’t know the suspect had a child, tells NHK. “At the bar, she really livened the place up.”

Police also said that the suspect also visited her boyfriend in Kagoshima for three days in May, during which time she also abandoned Noa.

In examining the suspect’s mobile telephone, police found no messages to her boyfriend were found. Police suspect that she deleted them.

Regularly abused

Police also suspect that Noa was regularly abused. A rash observed on her buttocks was likely caused by her diaper not having been unchanged over an extended period. As well, the residence was filled with large amounts of garbage.

After alerting emergency services, Kakehashi apparently used unspecified means to try to take her life. She was then hospitalized. Police arrested her upon her release on Tuesday, according to the Tokyo Shimbun.

Prior to her arrest, Kakehashi told police during voluntary questioning that Noa had become ill several days before she stopped breathing. She added that she had no money to provide her with medical treatment, according to Kyodo News (July 8).