TOKYO (TR) – Last month, Tokyo police arrested a 48-year-old woman for allegedly concealing a corpse likely belonging to her mother in their residence in Katsushika Ward.
That in itself is not so terribly unusual. However, there was one added element: The body was found inside a freezer.
According to the site for weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun, the back story for the case is a tale of poverty and accumulated debts.
At around 2:00 p.m. on January 27, a cleaning crew alerted police after finding the body inside the freezer, hidden inside a closet on the first floor of the apartment.
An investigative source tells Bunshun that the body was in a seated position inside the freezer, which was 70 centimeters wide, 50 centimeters deep and 70 centimeters tall. “The freezer was on, and the corpse was decaying, with the lower half of the body frozen,” the source says.
The cause and approximate time of death are not known, police said.
“I’m moving to an unknown destination in Ibaraki Prefecture”
Yumi Yoshino shared the residence with her mother. About one year ago, Yoshino stopped paying rent.
At the time of the discovery, Yoshino was not present. At some point in January, she vacated the premises, leaving behind the body of her mother and other household items.
She told the cleaning crew that they could dispose of the items. “I’m moving to an unknown destination in Ibaraki Prefecture,” she said.
Two days after the discovery, on January 29, police found Yoshino at a business hotel in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture.
During questioning, she told police that she wanted to continue living in the apartment, which had been rented in the name of her mother.
She added that one day about 10 years ago she found her mother dead inside the apartment. “After a few days, worms began appearing in the corpse,” she said. “So I put it in the freezer, which I bought online, and hid it in the closet. I wanted to continue living in [the apartment] so I bought the freezer to conceal the corpse.”
An acquaintance of Yoshino tells Shukan Shincho (Feb. 11) that she married to a colleague at a transportation firm.
However, she later became estranged from her husband. “One day, she said, ‘I am working at my father’s sushi shop.’ So I thought she was still married,” the acquaintance said.
At the time of her arrest, Yoshino was unemployed. However, she once worked at a soapland, which is an adult-entertainment establishment providing full sex.
“At that time, she was in a relationship with a customer,” the aforementioned investigator says to Bunshun. “It was a two- or three-year sex-only kind of deal. At one point, she asked him for a loan of around 300,000 yen for her mother’s funeral.”
At the tine of her receiving an eviction notice last October, Yoshino owed 1.1 million yen in back rent. When police arrested her in Chiba, she had a total of 5,000 yen in cash in her possession.
Police suspect that Yoshino was hoping the cleaning crew would not notice the body of her mother. The investigation is ongoing.