Police in Tokyo's Adachi Ward have charged a 31-year-old man and his 28-year-old wife with fatally abusing their 3-year-old son and then disposing of his body in a river.
According to police, Shinobu Minagawa and his wife Tomomi confined their son Rikuto in a rabbit cage at their home from December 2012 until March 2013. Fuji TV quoted police as saying the couple starved the boy, then smothered him to death by covering his nose and mouth with a towel.
After he died, they placed his body in a box and dumped it in the Arakawa River. However, the boy's body has not been found, police said.
Tomomi was quoted by police as saying they put Rikuto in the cage to discipline him because he kept disobeying them, Fuji reported.
The couple, who have six other children, were arrested last year on charges of abusing one of their daughters. Police said they also never reported Rikuto as missing and continued to receive child welfare payments for a year after his death until a child welfare center caught onto them.© Japan Today