crime

Father of 2-year-old girl who died after being left in car for 7 hours last summer to be charged

15 Comments

Police in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, have sent papers to prosecutors on a 40-year-old man whose 2-year-old daughter died after he left her in his car for about seven hours while working at home last June.

Prosecutors said the man faces a charge of parental neglect resulting in death, Sankei Shimbun reported. The father found his daughter, who was unconscious and not breathing, in the rear seat of his vehicle at around 3:20 p.m. on June 17. He took her to a hospital where she was pronounced dead due to heatstroke.

According to police, the man drove his 8-year-old daughter to an elementary school at around 8 a.m., with the 2-year-old also in the car. He then returned to his home where he was teleworking due to the coronavirus. At around 3 p.m., he drove back to the school to pick up the elder daughter, and after parking, noticed his younger daughter still in the child seat in the rear.

The temperature on that day in Tsukuba reached 27.8 C shortly before noon, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, but would have been much higher inside the car with its windows rolled up.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
Login to comment

off the wall, how can that happen, so sad

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Last summer?

Why did it take them so long?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

off the wall, how can that happen, so sad

As a new parent myself, let me suggest what might have happened. Many child seats come with hoods for shade and can be rotated through 360 degrees. I will wager the girl was spun through 180 degrees as to be facing the opposite direction of travel, and was most likely sleeping, too. The father, distracted by work, may well have noticed the child seat, but not the sleeping child facing backwards. Perhaps it is difficult to imagine someone being so careless, but if ever there is an instance of "more haste, less speed" then this is a prime example.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Last summer?

Why did it take them so long?

With a case as tragic and difficult as this I'm not surprised they took a bit of time to weigh whether to bring charges. It was a horrible tragedy caused by a negligent action by a parent who no doubt will never get over this. Its a lot more difficult a decision from a prosecutor's perspective than when you have a crime committed deliberately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a parent, I've never understood how this happens. Where did he think his 2 year old was? 2 year olds make noise and get into things. Suddenly having that period of silence wasn't suspicious? The kid just somehow managed to slip his mind for 7 hours? Come on.

In those 7 hours that child would have required some form of care (diaper change, bottle, being held, tucked in for a nap). Having seven straight hours of uninterrupted work time in the house didn't seem a bit off?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

aomorisamurai

You are most correct in your post! How can someone go 7 hours without checking on their 2 year old? I can't go 30 mins without checking on my kids! A 2 yo makes a lot of noise as you said and when they don't see their parents, they come looking for you or call out for you when they need something! Dad of the year type fella, huh?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As a parent, I've never understood how this happens. Where did he think his 2 year old was? 2 year olds make noise and get into things. Suddenly having that period of silence wasn't suspicious? The kid just somehow managed to slip his mind for 7 hours? Come on.

In those 7 hours that child would have required some form of care (diaper change, bottle, being held, tucked in for a nap). Having seven straight hours of uninterrupted work time in the house didn't seem a bit off?

I have two young kids and I'm quite reluctant to poor any scorn on this guy based on what is known. Everything you say is true, but it all pre-supposes that he was the normal caregiver and thus would have noticed the absence of these routine things.

I mean, I agree its weird. I am very aware that I have two kids and if I'm in charge of them and I dropped one off at school then I still have to take care of the other. Its hard for me to figure how he would have made a mistake like that in the first place, even if she was sleeping.

But also he was telecommuting due to the pandemic so probably he wasn't normally in charge of the kids and was rather accustomed to working without noisy kids bouncing off the walls in the background and worrying about feeding, etc, so I don't know that the absence of those things would have necessarily clued him in if he was particularly busy and distracted. When you are out of your routine and busy its easy to overlook things like that.

I wouldn't say it lets him off hte hook, but as an absent minded person myself I can only feel sympathy for him. He'll have to live with this for the rest of his life and if I had to carry the guilt of this I'd probably go insane.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm sure he'll get an extremely light sentence as all those responsible for the death of their own children do here in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

According to police, the man drove his 8-year-old daughter to an elementary school at around 8 a.m., with the 2-year-old also in the car. He then returned to his home where he was teleworking due to the coronavirus. At around 3 p.m., he drove back to the school to pick up the elder daughter, and after parking, noticed his younger daughter still in the child seat in the rear.

Oh, but I'm sure he knew exactly where is smartphone was.

No excuse here. You don't forget a two year old in the car, ever. And yes, I have a two year old myself.

Thankfully the young child doesn't have to suffer with this joker any longer. I feel sorry for the elder sibling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Father of 2-year-old girl who died after being left in car for 7 hours last summer to be charged

It was a horrible story, but in this case, he was just stupid, not malicious. There are no winner here, no matter what you do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never thought about changing a diaper, snacks, play time?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Unfortunately this is a very common occurrence around the world. It seems that the father was not the usual caregiver. The temperature in a car gets much higher than the outside temperature. I hope that everyone reading this remembers that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can perfectly understand how this could have happened, because when my older son was five months old, I went grocery shopping, loaded the groceries in the car, and drove home.....and realized I'd left the baby in my shopping cart in the parking lot. Fortunately, he was still there when I got back. I wasn't drunk or on drugs -- just overwhelmed, exhausted and clearly in need of a hand. That incident made me a lot less judgmental of other parents.

In this case, charging the father or not won't do much either way -- he's already suffering the ultimate punishment. His little girl is dead, and he knows he is to blame. He has to live with this for the rest of his life.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Very tragic, and difficult decision to come at for prosecutors. From what we have learned, the father appears with no past history of neglect or parental indiscretions but rather of a hard working single dad supporting his kids as there is no mention of a mother involved. It is highly possible as a hard working parent with responsibilities at home and career to make the money in order to support his family and given the nature of his work being busy it is highly possible to have forgotten. So much going on in the mind too much on his plate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speed

I'm sure he'll get an extremely light sentence as all those responsible for the death of their own children do here in Japan.

Well I hope the court is reasonable and understands all aspects of the situation. Can you tell us how a harsh sentence would benefit the 8-year old? Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites