Police in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, have arrested a 26-year-old unemployed woman on suspicion of parental neglect resulting in death after she left her two daughters, aged 6 and 3, in her car while she went drinking.
According to police, Maria Takeuchi left her daughters Mayuri, 6, and Yurie, 3, in the back seat of her car at around 9 p.m. on Sept 2 until 12:40 p.m. the next day, Sankei Shimbun reported. The car, locked and with the windows up, was left in a shopping district near Kawaramachi Station.
When she returned to the car around dawn, Takeuchi noticed that her daughters were unconscious. She drove home and left the children in the car. In the afternoon, at 12:40 p.m., she called 119. The girls were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead. An autopsy Friday showed that they died of dehydration due to heatstroke, police said.
The meteorological agency said the temperature on Sept 3 reached 37.2 degrees, but it would have been much higher inside the car.
Police said Takeuchi has remained silent since her arrest but footage from street surveillance cameras in the area as well as information provided from employees of drinking establishments indicate that she went bar-hopping with a friend while the children were in the car. Police are trying to determine why she waited until the afternoon before calling 119.
Autopsy found that the girls died of dehydration cause by heatstroke, the police said. The temperature rose as high as 37.6 C Thursday in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, a record for September for the city.© Japan Today