TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 23-year-old woman in connection with the death of her newborn whose corpse was found at a park in Minato Ward last year, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Nov. 2).
On the night of November 3, 2019, Sayuri Kitai, a clothing salesperson, allegedly buried the body of the infant — later found to be a girl — at Italy Park in the Higashi Shimbashi area.
Upon her arrest on suspicion of abandoning a corpse on Sunday, Kitai admitted to the allegations, police said.
Kitai lives in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, where she was arrested. She was then transported to the Atago Police Station in Tokyo.
“I gave birth inside a toilet at Haneda Airport”
According to police, she arrived at Haneda Airport on a flight on the night of November 3, 2019. After staying one night at a hotel attached to the airport, she departed on a flight the next day.
“I gave birth inside a toilet at Haneda Airport,” she later told police.
On the morning of November 8, police received a report from a passerby about the body of the girl in the park.
Officers arriving at the scene found the right arm and head of the body protruding from the soil between some trees on the park’s south side.
The umbilical cord was attached. The gender of the infant was not known at the time.
Interviews with 800 families
In announcing the arrest on Monday, police also said the mouth of the infant was stuffed with paper tissue. The results of an autopsy revealed that she died due to suffocation from the airways to her lungs being blocked.
In carrying out the investigation, police interviewed the members of about 800 families living in the area, including in several large apartment buildings. However, they were unable to develop any leads.
Kitai emerged as a person of interest in the case after police viewed about 29,000 persons who appeared in security camera footage shot in the area.
Police believe Kitai gave birth at the airport and traveled to the park — a distance of about 15 kilometers — before burying the body. She came to the capital to look for a job.
At the time of the incident, Kitai was a fourth-year university student. Her pregnancy had been registered with a government office. But there was no record of her having given birth.
According to the records left at a prefectural obstetrics and gynecology department, the gender of the child was female.
Police plan to further accuse Kitai of murder on Monday.