crime

11-month-old girl dies of heatstroke after mother leaves her in car

33 Comments

An 11-month-old girl died of heatstroke on Friday in Toyama City after her 25-year-old mother left her in her car.

Police have arrested the mother, Suzu Nobata, on suspicion of parental neglect resulting in death.

According to police, Nobata, who works in a Japanese-style pub, left her daughter Kokomi in her car in the parking lot of her apartment on Friday morning.

Nobata had been drinking with a colleague after work. She taken her daughter and two-year-old son with her as her husband was away on business. A proxy driving service employee drove them home in Nobata's car at around 5 a.m.

Nobata told police she was drunk and that when they arrived home, her son got out of the car and they went into the apartment but that she completely forgot Kokomi in her child seat. After she woke up at around 9:30 a.m., she remembered Kokomi being in her car. She found her unconscious and called 119. The child was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead about two hours later due to heatstroke.

Police said the temperature was 32.6 degrees at 9 a.m. and the car's windows were all closed.

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33 Comments
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Lovely mother. First she goes out drinking with her two infant children then she leaves one in the car to roast to death. The lowest form of human scum.

She needs to be severely punished

14 ( +19 / -5 )

I don't understand how you can remember to bring in one of your kids but not the other. Sounds fishy, especially when you bring in the older one that doesn't need as much attention as a baby.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

It states the older child got out of the car by himself. The infant obviously couldn’t get out. Sad.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Very strange story. I read about this on some Japanese news sites but they weren't very clear about it either. I'm guessing the designated driver brought the family home, parked the car and maybe said good night and left without waiting to see if all three got out of the car. The little boy probably jumped out by himself and the drunken mother, if she can be called a mother, probably just staggered into the apartment with her son.

What I also don't understand is why she took the kids with her when she went out drinking in the first place. Her husband was out of town. Couldn't she stay at home with them? Surely she didn't leave them in the car while she was drinking with her friends.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

She found her unconscious and called 119.

Probable not as “clean” as this statement implies.

If the child’s condition was similar to mine when I went to the hospital last summer with symptoms of heat stroke, she was probably covered with her own vomit and sitting in her own diarrhea.

Now, what to do about that drunk of a mother ...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pathetic woman she needs to be locked away how can you do that to a child is beyond me....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Out drinking until nearly 5am? Were the kids in the car or the bar when she was drinking? Pretty stupid to be drunk when she's responsible for two small children whether in a bar or at home. Wonder if the colleague is a quasi boyfriend.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Very sad for what we will never know of a bright promising young girl. I'm out of words..Is it possible for JT reporters to provide updates to us. I would like to hear of the outcome regarding this horrible incident.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad story.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What's "a Japanese-style pub" ... pub-pub, or a hostess bar where her job is to get drunk with clients?

When have we heard of stuff like this before?

@smartacus

It does say, "after work". Babysitters are hard to come by.

Had she left the kids in the car while she did her entire shift?

Sadly this is a pretty common occurrence the world over. Kids and puppies usually. A couple of twins died in New York just the other day. Last year, 52 children died in hot cars in the US. No idea the figures for Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What's "a Japanese-style pub" ... pub-pub, or a hostess bar where her job is to get drunk with clients?

Japanese-style pub usually refers to an izakaya.

Sadly, there is no good solution for this. Arresting her won´t make to daughter come back to life and certainly does not help the son.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Out drinking until 5am? You can’t drag two kids out on a drinking binge with your coworkers. Furthermore, doesn’t her children have a bed time? What time did she and her coworker go out for drinks?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You can’t drag two kids out on a drinking binge with your coworkers. Furthermore, doesn’t her children have a bed time? 

It is summer holidays, so I assume the son had no school.

Also, not that unusual for a parent (or parents) to bring a child along when drinking in Japan - for various reasons. It's less culturally unacceptable here than in a place like the USA.

This is an awful thing, but to call her "the lowest form of human scum" without the details we have here (as the first commenter did) is beyond the pale. There is no reason to say that about someone who has suffered a tragedy, and anyone who does is probably not the nicest person themselves.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

How can you be so drunk to forget your baby but not where you live, your door keys?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

According to a Smart News article, after finishing work around 1:00 am, and then going out drinking with a colleague/colleagues, she picked her children up from a care facility around 4:30 am. Also, from the wording I think it’s possible she used a daikou 代行 driving service to get her and the kids and their car home, not a friend.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

RIP little girl your mother is a heartless monster.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

And the mother -of-the-year award goes to... !

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

RIP Little angel you have my thoughts and prayers!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

how about taking care of your kids instead of drinking until 5am you slag!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How can you be so drunk to forget your baby but not where you live, your door keys?

She says she forgot. Probably she was just too lazy to wake up and carry the baby so she decided to let the girl finish the night in the car

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I've seen Japanese women forced to go out after work with their bosses when they didn't want to.

She made a terrible mistake that killed her baby. Does anyone think that was her intention?

Some car companies have been trying to create child-in-back reminders so parents don't forget them. An easier solution is to always place the stuff you are taking with you on the back seat floor when you get into the vehicle. You'll have a habit of checking the back seat when you stop anywhere, plus you won't be distracted while driving trying to get stuff you shouldn't be touching.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Too many of the wrong type of people are having kids in Japan the last couple decades & the little ones pay a terrible price for the negligence  of the parents, expect more & more sad stories from inept "parents"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

did she drive home drunk as well?

@gogogo, how can people thumb down you on your comment? its pretty disgraceful if they did, I think she's dam heartless to!!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Brian WhewayAug. 3  11:53 pm JST

“did she drive home drunk as well?”

No she didn’t. This article has been changed from a friend to a proxy driving service having driven her car to her home but there’s not been any indication that she drove herself in any of the reports I’ve seen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't understand how you can remember to bring in one of your kids but not the other. 

Really?

David Cameron left his eight-year-old daughter in the pub following a Sunday lunch, after a mix-up with his wife Samantha, Downing Street has admitted.

The couple's daughter Nancy wandered off to the toilets while they were arranging lifts and they only realised she was not with them when they got home, the Sun said.

The prime minister rushed back to the Plough Inn in Cadsden, Buckinghamshire, where he found his daughter with staff.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jun/11/david-cameron-daughter-behind-pub

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They have 24 hour childcare services for hostesses these days too?

Yeah, it would be good to have some follow up journalism into the facts, rather than just copy and paste newsfeeds and speculation.

What was that movie about the real life case where a hostess went off with a client/pimp and left 3 kids in a flat together with no money to survive?

Boy, that was a tragic story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@theFu

You'll have a habit of checking the back seat when you stop anywhere,

“Habit”. You may have put your finger on a contributing factor. Was this the first time she left her child in the car? Maybe she had done it before and the child was okay...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An easier solution is to always place the stuff you are taking with you on the back seat floor when you get into the vehicle. You'll have a habit of checking the back seat when you stop anywhere

Wouldn't help me - I leave stuff in the back all the time. Wouldn't have helped in this case either, as she wasn't driving and was both a bit drunk and tired.

An alarm system that beeps (as when you leave your headlights on) would help in many cases. Perfectly decent and moral people forget things all the time, including sleeping toddlers in the back if a car. Other less decent and moral people will consciously leave their kid in the car while they lose track of time at a pachinko parlor or the like.

This woman was working at an izakaya, which is a hard job with little pay. Her husband was also working to make ends meet. We don't know the circumstances of her going for a drink after work. It may have been obligatory, as it often is in Japan. And she made a terrible mistake that, frankly, anybody can make and many people do make. Sadly, hers was one of the cases that ended tragically.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would take an extreme set of circumstances for someone with two kids to pay for after hours care for them and also pay for a daiko if they are earning izakaya wages. It would either have to be run by her (desperate) family or run by the yaks to whom the lady is in debt.

As pacificwest points out, the woman was almost certainly working at some kind of hostess bar, on much higher wages than an izakaya. I would guess about 2500 yen an hour. Hostesses are also more likely to need a drink to unwind after humouring men for several hours.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As pacificwest points out, the woman was almost certainly working at some kind of hostess bar, on much higher wages than an izakaya.

You are probably right. And she is an attractive woman. If so, that won't help her case. But even working in a hostess club or kyaba club is still trying to support her kids. It's not a great situation, and it often includes obligatory after hours drinks, but sometimes people don't have many other options.

She may have had no family support, little education, little exposure to positive influences, and was trying to support her kids as she thought best. People with all kinds of advantages she may not have had are quick to call her a monster with only scant details. It's a mob mentality jumping on a tragic situation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Usually child seats are placed in the backseat, and I assume that was the case here.

Wouldn't it make more sense to put the child seat in the front seat next to the driver so there's less chance of forgetting about the quiet little passenger in the backseat? It might not be as safe as the backseat, but the driver will be more likely to notice them in the front seat than if they're directly behind them in the backseat.

Or some kind of alarm system that goes off when the engine has been turned off and somebody is still in the car.

Anyway, it's heartbreaking to read these kinds of stories.

RIP little ones.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I see people taking their kids to the bar all the time. I hope they don't arrest the mother. It will cause a lot of problems for her son and husband. This is a lesson she will never forget. I still can't believe the driver didn't make sure they made it in the house ok. Many drivers will walk you to the door. Sad story.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A proxy driving service employee drove them home in Nobata's car at around 5 a.m.    

So why didn't the driver help her take the children inside her home as a good gesture  ???  Drunk while caring for your children not the mark of a good mother. At 5am children should be at home in bed asleep not in a car with a drunk mother. Hope she spends lots on lonely night in prison... You can't blame the booze you have to blame the person drinking the Booze. POOR little Kokomi ... RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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