crime

Mother arrested after 2-year-old son confined in closet dies

21 Comments

Police in Sapporo have arrested a 20-year-old woman on suspicion of fatally abusing her 2-year-old son by confining him in a closet.

The child was taken to a hospital in a state of cardiac arrest on Tuesday, Sankei Shimbun reported. He was resuscitated after losing consciousness, but died on Wednesday. The hospital notified police about a case of possible child abuse.

According to police, Aika Matsubara -- a single mother -- locked her son Reia in the closet for 30 minutes from around 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday at their apartment in Kita Ward.

Matsubara’s mother contacted 119 after receiving a call from her daughter saying Reia had “collapsed and was lifeless” on the floor.

Police said Matsubara has admitted shutting the boy in the closet because he wouldn’t listen to her. Police and the local children’s welfare center said they have never received any prior reports of child abuse concerning Reia.

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21 Comments
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Putting a 2 year old in a closet.... what a nut.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I fear the poor kid was locked in the closet for much longer than 30 minutes to cause his death.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

There is more to this story. Poor child.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Another slug that should be sterilized!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Can't imagine just 30 minutes in a closet killing you. Heat stroke from being in there way longer than 30 minutes maybe. Wish these articles were a little more on info.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Another tragedy. There is no way that poor child was only in the closet for 30 minutes. Lock this sicko up until she is past her reproductive years.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I've heard separating children from the group - and into the futon closet - is used as a form of punishment here. I hope the new law from 2019 on what constitutes harassment helps people understand both the mental and physical dangers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've heard separating children from the group - and into the futon closet - is used as a form of punishment here. 

Yes, I’ve heard that too from more than one person since I started living here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sure, she has NO TIME to talk to him, busy keeping up with her social media contacts, and posts, so the locks him up in the closet.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I agree with the posts above - it should take much longer than 30 minutes in the closet to result in death. Mrs. Affist used to do things like that to our children decades ago, so I can judge from experience that 30 minutes wouldn't permanently harm them. She also liked to shove them out the front door in freezing weather with just normal house clothes on. I would come home from work to find them shivering on the doorstep and wonder whether the neighbors had called the police yet. I can reveal this now because the statute of limitations has long passed. But this kind of sequestration punishment seems like a Japanese thing, just like corporal punishment used to be a Western thing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Terrible tragedy but the explanation is not congruent, it may be that the boy had some undiscovered health problem, or that the abuse was much more than what is described.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Most modern closets do not have locks on them. This news sounds somehow strange.

Terrifying treatment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The little guy fought for his life "He was resuscitated after losing consciousness but died Wednesday". Wow a single mother what makes her think that a 2 year old is going to listen. All it takes is one dumb mistake (locking your kid in a closet is not the proper thing to do) and then she has the nerve to call her mom and say her son is lifeless. I wonder if she heard her son calling out to her for help? This was senseless, we will read about others because this is becoming a daily read!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More to this story, you don't die from being in a closet... Something is missing from the story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ooh! Interesting point.

I'm looking forward the development of this story

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A single, probably unemployed, possibly involuntarily pregnant YOUNG woman, rejected by moralistic and/or embarrassed family WITH NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER whose morality would not allow her to terminate her baby and who may have been two steps away from embracing her terrible two year old and stepping off her balcony puts the infant into what should have been as safe a space as a crib or other designed Human child containment and showing NO SIGNS, per this report, of ABUSE, the child loses consciousness and dies. Does SIDS affect two year olds? Are there other reasons children just suddenly pass away? Do we have to immediately and compulsively reveal out misanthropic world views by assuming deliberate Human behavioral pathology? "That's the most likely..." might be offered but, understand, it's the most likely ONLY if the media world and the "news" is one's only Human Reality. Are we really so obviously pathological both in behavior and our regard for our fellow Humans as implied so reflexively by so many commenters or are the mentalities of those commenters our real problem? [sigh] That really should be our collective question, IMHO...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There was probably an ongoing pattern of abuse of this toddler, so the absence of any reports by local authorities is meaningless. Because toddlers cry out for a number of reasons at that age, neighbors might not have thought anything was unusual while abuse was occurring.

And not every Japanese household can afford proper a/c, especially when it comes to single parents. I know of some situations where this was the case and I intervened to help. One can expect being shoved into a closet on a hot summer day—with toddlers not having the ability to control their body temps like an adult—it can be disastrous for the innocent child.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Absolute scum of the earth. Jail her for 30 years. Its a shame forced sterilization is likely illegal. Rest in Peace to the poor little boy.

Mrs. Affist used to do things like that to our children decades ago, so I can judge from experience that 30 minutes wouldn't permanently harm them. She also liked to shove them out the front door in freezing weather with just normal house clothes on

Pretty sick to read that. No shame in being clearly out of her depth with children, but anyone who treats little kids like that deserves serious physical punishment themselves whenever they make any mistake at home in their duties. I hope this took place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't see how this could possibly have been fatal. Key elements are missing from this story. Was the closet too small for him to breath or something?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamanda

Most modern closets do not have locks on them. This news sounds somehow strange.

You expect a 2-year old to escape from a closet, locked or not??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fighto!June 25  11:15 am JST

Absolute scum of the earth. Jail her for 30 years. 

She should never be allowed around children after her release either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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