crime

21-year-old man arrested over death of girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter

30 Comments

Police in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Sunday arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of fatally abusing the 4-year-old daughter of his girlfriend.

According to police, the child, Riara Otsuka, was taken to a hospital in the evening of Aug 28 by her mother's live-in boyfriend, Shun Hiwatashi, who said he had found her unconscious in the bath. She was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

According to police, an autopsy showed that she had drowned in the bath. However, there were many bruises on her body which had been inflicted over a period of days.

Police say that Riara was beaten by Hiwatashi, a construction worker, who has admitted to physically abusing the girl by punching her in the head with his fist at around 7:30 p.m. on Aug 27.

Local media quoted a neighbor as saying that a girl in the apartment where Riara, her mother and Hiwatashi lived, could often be heard crying loudly some nights.

Meanwhile, police disclosed that in March, when the three were living in Satsumasendai, also in Kagoshima Prefecture, a child welfare center received a report that Riara might have been the victim of child abuse after a video of her being hit was posted online. On March 19, a child welfare official and a police officer visited her home but found no physical evidence that the girl had been hurt. They said Sunday they were not aware that Hiwatashi was living with Riara and her mother.

Riara was also seen wandering outside by herself late at night four times in March and April and taken into protective custody on each occasion. Welfare officials instructed the mother to look after her daughter.

Riara moved to Izumi with her mother and Hiwatashi in July. Child welfare officials in Satsumasendai notified their counterparts in Izumi but no action was taken. Police had requested that Riara be taken into protective custody by local welfare authorities, but they failed to do so because they found no evidence of physical abuse.

Kyodo News reported Monday that Riara's mother had taken her to the emergency department at a hospital in July, saying she vomited after hitting her head while playing. The city had noted the child had several bruises on her body on Aug 5, but did not relay that information to the police. On Aug26, a public health nurse conducted a consultation with the girl but did not find any bruises.

© Japan Today/Kyodo

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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There has to be a special place in hell for people who do things like this

23 ( +24 / -1 )

He's lower than pond scum and she's a pathetic excuse for a mother and a human being. Child protection services havnt got a clue

16 ( +17 / -1 )

punching her in the head with his fist

Seriously? She’s a 4 years old little girl, not a threatening grown man. What is wrong with people like this?

16 ( +16 / -0 )

*sensei- yup lets hope its especially hot and painful! Scum of the earth. RIP little one.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Despite the growing list of evidence of neglect, abuse, and violence, they really couldn't do anything unless they saw bruises and blood? Well, I hope they're finally satisfied with the evidence... That poor little girl, suffering for so long, and so much.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Welfare officials instructed the mother to look after her daughter

What does that even mean ??

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I hope that this punk gets his in prison.

punching her in the head with his fist

He needs a baseball bat to the head to understand what that poor little girl experienced under his abuse

12 ( +13 / -1 )

a child welfare center received a report that Riara might have been the victim of child abuse after a video of her being hit was posted online. On March 19, a child welfare official and a police officer visited her home but found no physical evidence that the girl had been hurt.

They had a video of her being hit, but found no physical evidence of her being hurt? Isn't a video physical evidence enough? I understand that intervention and mediation are difficult for child welfare services, but surely a video of the kid being abused is sufficient to take action on. Perhaps child welfare services could have done more, but the blame for her death lays with the scum that she had for parents. Her mother was obviously party to it as well.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Riara might have been the victim of child abuse after a video of her being hit was posted online

And police have arrested people many times for posting online less worst things.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Child welfare centers need more teeth and need to use them. How much more of this do we need to see?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

re: "Police suspect that Riara was beaten by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Shun Hiwatashi, a construction worker, who has admitted to physically abusing the girl by punching her in the head with his fist at around 7:30 p.m. on Aug 27."

A live-in boyfriend? 21 vs a 4yr old. Yes I can see where punching the head with a fist would cause grave injuries. This guy is not a man but a coward. He deserves no mercy from the courts. There is right from wrong and a 21 yr old can tell the difference despite any circumstances a child is a child especially at this age.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Scum of the earth, you POS, this maggot needs to go to jail for a long time.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

POS deserves the same treatment once he is in jail.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's why i have my 3 kids with me here, no way in hell they will go back to Japan until they can take care of then self.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

a child welfare center received a report that Riara might have been the victim of child abuse after a video of her being hit was posted online. On March 19, a child welfare official and a police officer visited her home but found no physical evidence that the girl had been hurt.a child welfare center received a report that Riara might have been the victim of child abuse after a video of her being hit was posted online. On March 19, a child welfare official and a police officer visited her home but found no physical evidence that the girl had been hurt.

Absolutely shocking. Video evidence of abuse but that isn't enough, it's only abuse if there are bruises.

The whole social services and care system needs to be overhauled and only properly trained and qualified social workers working in this sector, not civil servants with no proper power and intelligence, who only 'instruct' negligent parents, and who couldn't recognise abuse if it came up and punched them in the face.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"According to police, there were many bruises on her body which had been inflicted over a period of days."

"beaten by Hiwatashi, abusing the girl by punching her in the head" 

eww... the thing that he did in the strangest ways..

Well Hiwatashi, congratulations you got your ticket to 3 hots and a cot

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’m a single parent myself. Hearing people kill baby’s and child. Makes me sick.

the mother and man should all be charge in jail. As a mother you shouldn’t trust your boyfriend with your kid.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Worthless welfare centres. Worthless officials and police. Unable to protect a single thing.

Encourage evidence gathering by the neighbours. If they know there is child abuse, make sure them trying to help to uncover it does not backfire. At the first suspicion remove the child from a problematic family and have it undergo a medical examination. Single sign of neglect is enough to remove the child permanently, ensuring a better future (or any, at this point) for it. Ministry complaining there are only old people available for the work, and then this happens on a weekly basis. See the parallels folk?? You better do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The child welfare authorites need a complete overhaul, new protocols, and employees who are willing to take responsibility for protecting the children that the current system so frequently fails. Red tape, paperwork and dissembling do nothing to address this proble,

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Mr Shun HIWATASHI, the 21-year-old suspect, has until now maintained a high-profile social media presence (Instagram), repeatedly exhibiting himself while enjoying vodka shooter (6 shots!) drinking games at an un-named bar in Kagoshima, and also displays multiple exposures of his full-sleeve Japanese gangster-style (begins with 'Y') tattoos...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This poor girl. It's sad that some people are born with no one looking out for them.

Rest in peace.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Once again, again and again a tragic failure of the system to protect an innocent child. Mortifying.

Aside from the animal perpetrator, this showcases ingrained delinquency

Partial blame must sit with welfare officers, police officers, local govts, local citizens, in fact it's society in general that has to wear this horror.

People and the Powers to be need to step up.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In Australia, prison justice takes care of child killers like him. Hopefully it’s the same in Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's so sad that an innocent child who never offended anyone had to undergo this abuse. This 21 year old douche needs to be in the can for life so he can reflect on his horrible crime before he finally goes to hell.

RIP Little Child. You never had a life to call your own. You didn't have a chance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Too bad "an eye for an eye" no longer exists. Poor child. Why is the mother not being held accountable for child neglect?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All the more senseless and horrible because like all of these deaths it could so easily have been prevented. Two deadbeat "parents" on one side, numerous police, welfare and healthcare professionals on the other with all the powers of the state at their disposal and all the evidence they needed to act. How hard could it have been?

starpunkToday  08:44 am JST

It's so sad that an innocent child who never offended anyone had to undergo this abuse. This 21 year old douche needs to be in the can for life so he can reflect on his horrible crime before he finally goes to hell.

Best thing to do is conduct experiments on him to find out how he turned into such a piece of feral trash and then put him on display at the zoo. Prison is for human beings.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Best thing to do is conduct experiments on him to find out how he turned into such a piece of feral trash and then put him on display at the zoo.

Maybe more research is needed as to discover how and why such people fall through society's cracks. Perhaps he was abused or had an awful upbringing? Not that it's an excuse for his actions but might be a factor in this awful crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not again ! This is just awful .

RIP little one .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I blame the authorities. Useless with flying colors. So many incidents, reports, interventions and look at the end result...a defenseless child in cry of protection perished. RIP little angel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Local media quoted a neighbor as saying that a girl in the apartment where Riara, her mother and Hiwatashi lived, could often be heard crying loudly some nights.

My son SHATTERS WINDOWS when its time to shampoo (with kids tear free shampoo) or wet his face while taking a bath! He screams so loudly because he is afraid of I don't know what. I showed him that it doesn't burn your eyes, but to no avail. I brought this up because I am constantly in fear that because of how loud he screams, the neighbors will think we are abusing him in the worst way and call the cozzers when we are calmly just giving him a bath. Not hitting him, using hot water or anything to bring discomfort.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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