HOKKAIDO (TR) – Following last week’s arrest of a 21-year-old woman and her boyfriend over the alleged fatal abuse of her 2-year-old girl, police have revealed that the suspects also likely burned the child with lit cigarettes, reports TBS News (June 11).
Between early May and June 5, Rina Ikeda and her boyfriend Kazuya Fujiwara, 24, allegedly assaulted her daughter Kotori at several locations, including the Ikeda’s residence in Sapporo.
At around 5 a.m. on June 5, Ikeda alerted emergency services, saying her daughter had fallen ill. The girl was later confirmed dead at a hospital due to weakness from malnutrition, police said last week.
Police also previously said that Kotori showed signs of abuse, including multiple bruises on her body. As well, she was likely not fed properly. Her weight was less than 10 kilograms, which is around 2 kilograms less than normal for a girl her age.
In the latest development, investigative sources on Tuesday revealed that the body of the girl showed signs of having been burned with lit cigarettes upon her arrival at the hospital.
The suspects were sent to prosecutors on June 7 on suspicion of inflicting injury.
In May, police were tipped off by a neighbor of Ikeda’s residence about the child’s constant crying. An officer arriving at the residence spoke with Ikeda and Kotori on May 15.
At the time, the girl had a wound on her face and a bandage on the sole of her foot. However, Ikeda told the officer that the wounds were accidental, saying the injury to her foot was the result of her stepping on a curling iron.
After police reported the information to a child consultation center, it was judged that no abuse had taken place.
The center received two other reports of suspected abuse in April and last year. However, the conclusion in both cases was that abuse had not taken place.