Police in Nakama, Fukuoka Prefecture, have arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of fatally abusing his three-year-old stepson in August.
Ryoga Suemasu, a construction worker, was initially arrested on suspicion of assaulting the child, Manato, by beating him about the head several times at around 10:30 p.m. on Aug 15. Manato lost consciousness and early the next morning, his 22-year-old mother Ayumi noticed something was wrong with him. She and Suemasu took him to a hospital where doctors later contacted police about a case of possible child abuse.
Doctors said the boy later died of an acute subdural hematoma.
Police have changed the charge against Suematsu from assault to murder. Manato's mother, Ayumi, has also been arrested on suspicion of abusing her son. Police said both have denied the charges.
When he was initially arrested, Suematsu admitted hitting the child with his fists and quoted him as saying he lost his temper because the boy wouldn’t go to sleep when it was his bedtime but denied any intent to kill the boy
Police said doctors found other bruises on the boy’s body and believe he may have been abused on several occasions.
Suematsu had moved in with the boy and his mother in May.© Japan Today