KAGAWA (TR) – A woman in custody after her two daughters died from heatstroke due to being left inside her vehicle visited several bars with her boyfriend before the girls were found unconscious, police have revealed, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Sept. 5).
Between around 9:00 p.m. on September 2 and 3:00 p.m. the following day, Maria Takeuchi, 26, allegedly left her daughters, 6-year-old Mayuri and 3-year-old Yurie, inside her white BMW parked in a lot in Takamatsu City.
After the children were found unresponsive in the back seat, they were later confirmed dead at a hospital.
Police arrested Takeuchi for abandonment by a guardian resulting in death on September 4. She was sent to prosecutors the following day.
According to police, the results of autopsies conducted on the girls revealed that they died due to heatstroke. The temperature reached 37.6 degrees Celsius in Takamatsu on September 3, which was a record for September.
Water and food
Takeuchi has declined to comment on the allegations. However, she told police and emergency personnel at the scene upon the discovery of the children that she had visited a bathroom for two hours after “feeling unwell.”
However, security camera footage and witness accounts indicated that she went to at least three bars with a male acquaintance from the time she parked the car on September 2 until the next morning. She then went to the acquaintance’s residence until around noon on September 3, police said.
A search of the vehicle revealed some water and food, including bread, that had been partially consumed.
“Very kind mother”
The two girls lived with Takeuchi and her husband in Takamatsu. Investigators are now questioning her husband about the matter.
Beginning on September 1, the girls stopped attending kindergarten. Takeuchi told the principal she was worried that the girls could be at risk of spreading the novel coronavirus since they traveled outside the prefecture for summer vacation.
Takeuchi also told the principal that the girls would return to the kindergarten on Monday. “She took the initiative in helping with events, such as athletic meets,” the principal said. “I thought she was a very kind mother.”
Police also said that family had not been reported to a child consultation center.