crime

Couple arrested after remains of miscarried baby found in refrigerator

26 Comments

Police in Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture, have arrested a 25-year-old man and his 22-year-old wife on suspicion of abandoning a corpse after the remains of an infant was found in a refrigerator at their home.

According to police, the remains of the baby, whose gender is unknown, were found on Sept 24, Fuji TV reported. The couple, Yuto Inazuru, who works in the construction industry, and his wife Airi, a company employee, have admitted to the charge, Fuji TV reported. Police said Airi gave birth on Sept 22.

Police said that on Friday afternoon, a child welfare center received a call from a woman saying she had miscarried and that the infant’s remains were in the refrigerator at her apartment. When police went to the apartment, they found the remains inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Inazuru and his wife were both home. Inazuru was quoted by police as saying he told his wife to put the infant in the refrigerator.

The couple also have a one-year-old son who was not harmed, police said.

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So it wasn't a miscarried baby but she gave birth to it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What the hell!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What’s the crime here? A young couple apparently had a miscarriage at home on Sept. 22 and reported it to authorities on Sept. 24. Is there a time limit of less than 48 hours for reporting a miscarriage?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Perhaps wait for more knowledgeable AND reliable translations to come of the actual Japanese media reports. -

Wife says “miscarriage”, English media reports “newborn” as in ‘alive when born’.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Reuters/Kyodo are saying the child consultation center called it a 流産した乳児 - miscarried (suckling) baby.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This strikes me as VERY odd! Surely the remains weren't "abandoned" if they were kept in the freezer? Perhaps the main question is whether the baby was born alive -- but if it was indeed a miscarriage, how far along was the pregnancy? I once miscarried an early pregnancy in Tokyo, and my doctor scolded me for disposing of the remains myself -- but keeping them in the freezer would have been illegal?!? If indeed this miscarriage was natural, this case seems like a victimless "crime."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

thanks. Clarify please @cleo 6:23pm.- “Miscarried” means ‘not carried to full term” while “suckling” tends toward mean “successfully delivers, alive & breastfeeding”. - Which was the deceased in this scenario? A stillborn “fetus” or a newborn “baby”?

“Reuters/Kyodo are saying the child consultation center called it a 流産した乳児 - miscarried (suckling) baby.” -

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What is the crime? If they had the baby at home (not illegal - but not recommended) and they had a miscarriage what were they supposed to do? They called the police straight away according to the report.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

* “**Miscarried” means ‘not carried to full term” while “suckling” tends toward mean “successfully delivers, alive & breastfeeding”. - Which was the deceased in this scenario? A stillborn “fetus” or a newborn “baby”?*

Exactly, the meaning is unclear/contradictory in both Japanese and in English translation.

乳児 is literally a newborn/suckling infant, while 流産 is a miscarriage, ie spontaneous, pre-term birth of a non-viable foetus.

No doubt they could have called it a miscarried foetus (流産した胎児), but I think people do tend to refer to anything vaguely baby-like as a baby.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Terrible job of journalism by the author of this article. What is the crime the couple were arrested for?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Please read the first sentence.

Please read the first sentence.

The first sentence doesn’t make sense in context with the rest of the article. The woman called the police and reported the miscarriage. Is there a law stating that you have x amount of time after an unexpected miscarriage to report to authorities? The journalist, or more likely the translator, never tries to explain this.

Police said that on Friday afternoon, a child welfare center received a call from a woman saying she had miscarried and that the infant’s remains were in the refrigerator at her apartment. 

It was just two days from the time of birth to calling the police. The couple were more than likely shocked and traumatized. The body was not left out in the woods - no attempt to discard or hide the miscarriage (which in itself can’t possibly be considered a crime). I must presume this was a translated and edited version of the original Japanese article and as such it lost something in translation. If so that would explain the lack of clarity.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There is a great deal of clarity lacking in this report. Absolutely shoddy journalism with a clickbait headline. The delivery occurred at home but was the pregnancy carried to full term and the child stillborn? Or did a living child die shortly after birth? Or did the woman miscarry a late-term child which died in utero prematurely? Or was it mid-term miscarriage?

Whatever the case, my sympathies and condolences to the couple. Anyone who has been in the position of dealing with remains not carried to term outside of a hospital setting--and it happens often at many stages of fetal development--will respond with compassion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

*The journalist, or more likely the translator, never tries to explain this.*

The translator’s job is to convey the meaning of what is written in the source language, not to add unfounded ‘explanations’.

The original Japanese (as can be seen on numerous vernacular sites) is 流産した乳児, which raises question marks in Japanese and cannot be translated into English without of necessity carrying over the question marks. As a professional translator myself I’d be the first to point a finger, but in this case I have to say the translator could not have done better given the material s/he was given to work with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Surely the remains weren't "abandoned" if they were kept in the freezer?

In Japan, abandonment of a body refers to the abandoning the legal obligations in regard to the dead body. It's an awkward translation into English, but we don't have the equivalent word in English, and the word they do use is translated as "Abandon", which is accurate in other contexts.

Try not to get too hung up on the terminology as you're reading a story about an incident that happened in Japan, in Japanese, with Japanese police, and Japanese law, that you're reading about in English, which wasn't a language developed to express Japanese concepts.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

According to police, the remains of the baby, whose gender is unknown, were found on Sept 24, Fuji TV reported.

Police said that on Friday afternoon, a child welfare center received a call from a woman saying she had miscarried and that the infant’s remains were in the refrigerator at her apartment.

Two glaring issues in and with this report as others have noted:

1) If the foetus' gender were indeterminable, it must have been quite early in the gestation.

2) If the woman called 'authorities' and reported a miscarriage (why would one have to do that?) and measures were taken to preserve the remains, where is the "abandonment"?

And, also, where should the remains have been kept if not where remains of most Human tissues are kept when preserved, refrigerated. For all of the somewhat strange stories which JT publishes, this is one of the most vacuous and senseless 'clickbait' stories I have seen. Should this couple, in the midst of a personal tragedy, have dropped the remains off at the local koban?

Usually in stories of this sort, it is the individuals directly involved whose behaviors cause one to question their mental status but, by all of the measures in this story, it is the 'system' and its reporters who seem to be somewhat outside the bounds of expected rationality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

2) If the woman called 'authorities' and reported a miscarriage (why would one have to do that?) and measures were taken to preserve the remains, where is the "abandonment"?

Covered above:

In Japan, abandonment of a body refers to the abandoning the legal obligations in regard to the dead body. It's an awkward translation into English, but we don't have the equivalent word in English, and the word they do use is translated as "Abandon", which is accurate in other contexts.

Try not to get too hung up on the terminology as you're reading a story about an incident that happened in Japan, in Japanese, with Japanese police, and Japanese law, that you're reading about in English, which wasn't a language developed to express Japanese concepts.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Which was what, exactly?

Well to be fair, it has not been determined that a crime actually occurred or not, as there has not been a trial, and these two are still innocent citizens. However, they've been accused of a crime, and to be exact, the crime they are accused of is 死体遺棄.

should they have immediately dropped the foetal remains off at the local koban?

I don't know the specifics of what is required by law. If I were to put forward what I would guess, it would be that there is likely a legal obligation in Japan to report such matters promptly, whether that be to police or the medical system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There has to be MORE to this story or it's just sensationalizing a tragedy for hits. There is also the use of the word "discovered" which seems another 'weasel word' besides those already mentioned. Again, this is one of the weirder stories which JT has run and not because of the 'victim's' behavior but what seems to have been their sad experience with Authority.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There has to be MORE to this story

There is more to every story. That's why they have trials rather than prosecution by media.

or it's just sensationalizing a tragedy for hits.

Yeah, that's the tragedy of the 24 hour news reporting machine. They need to get news out 24 hours a day, so they report whatever they find, even before they've been able to gather the relevant details.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

> RecklessSep. 25  05:23 pm JST

What the hell!

What the devil? This is not just crazy, it's a bit sick.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

However, they've been accused of a crime, and to be exact, the crime they are accused of is 死体遺棄.

Which was what, exactly? What else could these poor people have done under the circumstances given in this brief bit of SENSATIONALISM? Whatever transliteration one chooses, where is the CRIME, presupposed by "ARRESTED" in THIS article, here? Or will it be suggested that 'arrested' has some culturally confusing translation? Again, WHAT SHOULD, COULD THEY HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? The matter was reported by the woman and they did not try to dispose of the remains.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My ex wife had a miscarriage. There was blood everywhere soaking through the sheets. I called the paramedics immediately. The doctors were cold and gave us the choice of having them dispose of the fetus or cremating it. We chose the later. But she was hospitalized for a few days. But the woman in this story, it doesn't make sense. So yeah, that's why they were arrested.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

流産した乳児 - miscarried (suckling) baby

Isn't it just because newborn are/were prone to die thus were not seen as really born less than 1 year after they left the womb of their mother ? Or something like that.

Considering the 23th was a holiday were not child welfare center and most hospital closed to begin with, so hard to find relevant people to say it to - police is not really what come to mind in that situation - moreover considering they have a 1 year old to attend kind of make sense they could wait for the next opened day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Gaijinland, I'm sorry for your & your wife's loss, but every miscarriage story is unique, so you can't make assumptions about others based on your own experience. In my case, I began to miscarry alone at home on a Friday -- I called my doctor, who said to come in Monday morning, and by then, everything was all over. I had flushed my baby's remains down our toilet at home, and the doctor scolded me for this. My Japanese friends told me that she could have reported me to the police for "abandonment" of the baby's body after I told her what I had done, but surely Japanese law only applies to babies after a certain gestational age? Mine was quite early, obviously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

UPDATE for anyone following this case -- according to this article, the woman hadn't realized she was pregnant. The autopsy put the fetus at 4-5 months, so her pregnancy was in the second trimester. I like to think the police wouldn't have arrested the couple for a pre-viability fetus/embryo in their freezer....but who knows? 

https://news.ksb.co.jp/article/14448171

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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