Mother arrested after daughters, aged 6 and 3, die in overheated car while she goes drinking


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.

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She didn't call emergency until afternoon?, what a gross and reckless behaviour. And then you wonder why some people have kids when there are plenty of others who wish to be parents and can't.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

I often use saunas in Japan so I understand how excruciating the effects of extreme heat feels.

Not a pleasant way to die...

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

Sounds like the premeditated act of a very disturbed young woman.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

I don’t believe this was a deliberate act but a case of incredible stupidity. No mother is cold and heartless enough to basically slow roast their own children.

I wonder if she told her friend where her kids were?

5 ( +15 / -10 )

First time through I misread and wondered how they'd passed in only a few nighttime hours. Surely it hadn't been as hot as--

OMG, 12:40PM??

She found them unconscious at dawn? So they might have had a chance had she taken them right to the ER?

Instead she drove home and, what, left them in the driveway to sleep it off? Didn't want to blow a dirty breathalyzer? Better to let YOUR CHILDREN bake to death in the noon-day sun than live the embarrassment of a DUI?

Those poor girls.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

She was probably worried that she would be charged with DUI, so she went to sleep it off before calling 119.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Let her drop!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

She went drinking from 21:00-dawn, about 7-8 hours, which is a solid session. She would have been quite drunk so DNEri’s guess sounds right. She went to go sleep it off before bringing her kids in.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The brand-new white BMW (purchased on credit) with dark-tinted glass speaks volumes...

10 ( +14 / -4 )

What an evil, heartless wench. Lock her up and throw away the key.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

this is heartbreaking! LOCK HER UP!!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

What a disappointment to humanity.

I was around her age when my wife got pregnant, and I gave up drinking entirely so I could be ready to support her/the kid in case of an emergency. Now I do drink occasionally, but often opt not to. How does someone not feel parental responsibility and put drinking alcohol and socializing over their own children? Especially as young as they were...

Reading about this kind of child abuse/neglect so often just guts me.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Help me please there is something really SAD and WRONG about young mothers / parents in Japan. I just can't figure it out yet!!!!!!!

There are several sad stories about young parents in other parts of the world, but with all the convenience, support, young parents receive in Japan I see no reason for them to be so wrong and twisted.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

She should be charged with murder.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

What a disappointment to humanity.

Indeed! There is definitely a back story to this terrible action and I hope it comes out in the investigation. Mental health issues and family immediately come to mind. Where are they?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Sounds like she was totally stressed out with life and just wanted to get trashed to forget her troubles. As there is no mention of a partner, I would assume she had no choice but to leave them in the car, on second thoughts, leaving them alone at home would of been best option.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

""Police are trying to determine why she waited until the afternoon before calling 119.""

She waited till she got sober so she can put he lies together. what a heartless animal.

I hope she spends the rest of her life in jail and childless and I hope her friend gets arrested and charged too.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

She wanted 'em dead. Period.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Horrible, absolutely horrible.

As Yasuragi says, the kids may have survived the night and died after she'd seen them in the morning.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Perfect candidate for the death penalty. Double child murderer, I think that cuts it.

Hope she dies strangled to death at the end of a rope.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Execute the filthy child killing scum. She has no right to expect to be kept alive. The deaths of these little angels wouldve been traumatic and horrible. It was an act of pure evil.

Rest in Peace, little angels.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Do the hustleToday  08:31 am JST

She should be charged with murder.

Murder two counts, child endangerment, neglect, DUI - more than enough to put her in the can for life. Inexcusable heartless behavior.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I’m tired over the news like it

Japan needs social system better for single mom

her 1st name is Maria ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Apparently she has a husband and the person she went out with was a guy too...

So not a single mother.

Terrible news.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That is more than 15 hours she left them in that car. Horrible crime.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Shouldn't it be: "Autopsy found that the girls died of heatstroke caused by dehydration?"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mark, I agree that she deserves to spend the rest of her life in jail but what did her friends do? Unless there's another article somewhere with different info they didn't drive there together. They didn't know the children were in the car. They didn't advise her to leave them there or go home and sleep it off. And, ultimately, they are not responsible for other people's children.

Having said that, I cannot imagine the horror I would feel if a friend and I were partying all night and I found out her kids died in the car during that time.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

human garbage, this so called “mother”. and to think that millions of women around the world are ( desperately ) trying to have kids and they can’t.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have to wonder why women who are accused of crimes are usually described as "unemployed" while other women are "mothers" or "housewives."

Of course, we can't know for sure what the real story of this tragic incident might be. Some people really do it by accident -- and pay the ultimate price:

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What about the father of the children? Or there isn't one?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"I don't remember. I was drunk at the time."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Killed her own kids? No problem on japan. She'll be out of prison in 2-3 years.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Paul, news said there is a father. The guy who provides the BMW. But she went out with another guy drinking all night, so I doubt the husband was aware what was happening

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How horrible. She definitely should be tried for murder. If she is let out of jail, she will only have kids again and do this again and again. She should not be allowed to have any children at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Drinking all night with another man, then driving with two small children in the back maybe an indication of her character.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

DUI could be added to her sentence since she drove after a night of bar hopping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder where those people park their car as to make it invisible. Anybystander could have heard the cries of the children or just see them. No one notices life anymore.

What about security camera'use to prevent that ?

Just feeling so sad. I have also two girls.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

How can anyone do that to their own kids..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My God. Alcoholism should take the life of the alcoholic not the alcoholics children.

I say twelve step this Monster Mother right up to the noose and over the red square and pull leaver.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

People like her need to be sterilized.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is such a sad news. Two innocent lives. But I suspect she wanted them to die and left them intentionally in the car. There is no way she did not know or she has forgotten. This is murder!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I appreciate that accident happen, but this is pure stupidity and neglect! the children were 6 and 3 YO, I wonder if they were still in the child seats with the harnesses still locked? as for the temperature, well here in the UK it can get quite warm, and when the works van/truck has been in the sun for a short time when you open the door the heat just hits you, and Japan gets a lot hotter, so god knows what the temp was like inside a locked car. This story is quite heart breaking as its a senseless irresponsible and avoidable tragedy, poor kids

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hard time (minimum 25 years) should be in store for this extremely poor excuse of a human. RIP, kids. It's a shame that you unluckily ended up with this POS for a mother.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She needs to be surgically sterilized at the very least. Hopefully a procedure that will leave a massive scar so she never ever forgets.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I feel for those poor girls. The terror and confusion they must have experienced is unbearable to imagine.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Poor girls.

Every year we hear this in summer. Some young parent leaves their kids in the car in the hot summer heat so they can go and play pachinko, go drinking etc.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A few things.

I was a single Gaijin father here, no family in Japan.

The ex rarely took the children and on occasion their Japanese grandparents did.

Having to provide for them, I would often need to work unexpectedly late evening and nights. ( Not go out drinking).

There are plenty of places where for a reasonable fee one can leave the children in the care of someone responsible for several hours at night.

No they are not the most ideal but if really needed they are available.

Not been Japanese and the internet at the time not being what it is today even I was still able to find these place ( to understand many of the children's mothers are bar workers).

Another point, some speculate that she didn't call for help immediately upon finding the children was not to be changed with DUI, simply not a thing as she hadn't driven at that point, after she drove home at that point yes.

This whole story has far to many holes in it. Something is just note right, I am skeptical that this was just an accident or poor judgement.

It is mind blowing that one needs a license to drive a car or months if training in Japan to even operate the smallest boat with a tiny electric trolling motor but any fool can have children.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hog tie her, throw her in the back seat of the same car, park it in the most exposed, sun beaten area one can find. Put in a tape recording of her two kids crying on continuous loop. Don't let her die, the first time. Then rinse and repeat.

Makes me sick to think what those two innocent children went through.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Some women are scary

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Imagine the cries of a 3 years old for her mothers help, Imagine the cries of the 6 years old for her sister tears and cry for help, but NO one listened and NO helped, they could see people walking by the car but NO one helped. and so the died slowly looking at each other. They are in heaven now, but I hope their so Called "mother" will burn in HELL for the rest of her life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is time for Automobile manufacturers to start installing sound & movement sensors in the automobile so kids cries can be detected and a sound alarm is activated, or a signal transmitted so the kids can be rescued.

No high tech gadgets just a simple sensor will save many kids lives.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

News reports on an issue like this should use the term "biological mother" for subhumans like this one. She is no mother in the traditional sense.

I definitely favor "an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@mark you don't need gadgets, just sober parents and common sense, neither were in abundance with this woman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A perfect way to serve justice in this case would be the death penalty served by being placed in a car to die the same way so one can suffer the wrong they did before they die. Might sound harsh but maybe that might finally hit the message home.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are no words.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let her swing...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Japan, unlike in the rest of developed worlds it is almost impossible to find a babysitter to go out for an evening. If you want to go out for an evening you have to rely on family or take your kids with you.

With that said, when you choose to have a child its a NO BRAINER the welfare of the child ALWAYS first.

This woman is a very self creature, my heart goes out to those beautiful children and I hope this woman is put away for a very long, long time and so she cannot reproduce anymore.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

selfish creature

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stories of neglectful single mothers, out drinking, slaves to their obnoxious new boyfriends. Their little kids dying as a result.

This is happening in Japan all the time. I’m so disgusted. DISGUSTED! And we have to hear that Japan is such a safe country, but why do these crimes go on all the time!

Somebody, DO something! This is so sickening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

P. SmithSep. 5  05:05 pm JST

I feel for those poor girls. The terror and confusion they must have experienced is unbearable to imagine.

I can only hope that given the time this occurred they at least fell asleep and were spared that, but there's a whole generation of young parents and prospective parents in Japan who are pretty much beyond hope. There are just too many stories like this that indicate an endemic and total disregard for common sense or the needs and wellbeing of others, especially when it counts the most. Moreover there's an equally dangerous lack of interest in what young mothers like this are getting up to. It seems no one can be bothered to lay out the law and keep them on the right track, presumably because police, social services and others in positions of responsibility are just as self-centred.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lock her up in an extremely hot cell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ashley Shiba

It is true that in Japan the babysitter concept is not a universal Developed world thing and more a North American thing.

The EU it is not that common.

But in Japan anyone that can use Japanese can find a place to keep children for several hours even all night or by the hour.

Bar workers most single mothers use these places all the time.

As a single father and having had to work any job I could to support my 2 children at the time, I on occasion had to work nights and used these types of childcare places.

Some had just 2 or 3 children others had up to a dozen.

Yes it ment bringing and picking up the children.

Home service babysitters exist but most are dispatch services and are expensive.

At the time I was using these it was far more difficult to find but today with everything on the internet it is far simpler and many more options are available including private in home sitters on sites like Craigslist, Jimoti, etc....

I get tired of this "Japan is the only place that doesn't........."

If today someone cannot find a babysitter or service to care for their children for a night out, it is because they did not try.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Honestly I feel a lot of these death Cause by single mothers / step parent, Could been prevent if Japan change the children custody policy when parents get divorced or break off relationships with the fathers. Sharing custody might help with spotting child abuse or neglect. With only one parent getting full custody and usually the mother, with slim chance seeing their non custody parent, it’s already sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a horrible story. So the kids were still alive when she drove home and locked them in the car while she was sleeping off her booze? Incredible and totally senseless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

japanese media reports that she took the kids with her when she left home because she was going to see her boyfriend.

if she had the kids, her husband would not think she left to see a man.

and the man didn't know she left the kids in the car.

she parked her car, left the kids with some snack and drink. she went drinking and went to her boyfriend's flat, slept till almost noon before returning to the car.

she probably had done it before to hide her affair.

this is so terrible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some mothers do terrible things to their children. Sometimes it is condoned by the family court.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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