TOKYO - A Tokyo woman was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of leaving her 3-year-old daughter alone at their home for more than a week and letting her starve to death, police said.
Saki Kakehashi, 24, admitted to the allegations, the police said, adding they believe she had routinely neglected and abused the daughter, Noa.
Autopsy results showed Noa died from severe dehydration and hunger, they said. The mother is suspected of leaving her alone at home for eight days in early June while visiting her boyfriend in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, according to an investigative source.
She made an emergency call upon her return from the trip, claiming Noa was not breathing, and the daughter was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
The victim had thymic atrophy, typically observed among abused or neglected children, and her stomach was almost empty, the source said.
During voluntary questioning before her arrest, Kakehashi initially said Noa became ill several days before her death but she had no money to take her to a hospital for treatment.