Police in Kawanishi, Nara Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 22-year-old woman on suspicion of fatally abusing her 6-month-old son.
According to police, Yuka Ishikawa, a part-time worker, suffocated her son Hikaru, sometime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on March 28. Sankei Shimbun reported that Ishikawa lives with her her husband, 33, her mother 52, her young sister, 18, and her one-year-old daughter. All members of the household, except Ishikawa's daughter, were out at the time.
Police said that when Ishikawa's mother returned home, she noticed Hikaru wasn't moving and called 119. He was taken to hospital in a state of cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police said an autopsy showed that someone or something had been pressed heavily on Hikaru's stomach and chest, making it impossible for him to breathe.
Police said Ishikawa has denied the charge and quoted her as saying, "I didn't do it."
Meanwhile, local media reported that after Hikaru was born, Ishikawa had gone to a municipal counseling center to seek help, saying she was distressed about raising her children. On Jan 22, Ishikawa's husband contacted police, expressing concern that she may have been hurting the children. Police visited the household to check on the children but found no signs of abuse. However, they suggested to the child welfare center that there was a possibility Ishikawa might abuse her children in the future and that welfare officials should check up on her from time to time.© Japan Today