Japan Today

Mother suspected in fatal abuse of 10-month-old girl


A woman currently hospitalized due to an emotional disturbance is suspected of fatally abusing her 10-month-old daughter, police in Kochi said.

According to police, the 40-year-old mother of Anzu Yoshimoto called a daycare center at around 10 a.m. on Oct 14 and said that her daughter was not well, Fuji TV reported Wednesday. The daycare center called ambulance which went to the woman's home and found Anzu in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. She was taken to hospital where she was confirmed dead on arrival.

Local media reported that on Oct 13, neighbors heard a loud angry shout and a girl crying inside the apartment.

An autopsy showed that the cause of Anzu's death was acute subdural hematoma due to an external strong impact to her head, and the time of death was around 7 a.m. She also had a broken left leg and signs of bruises on her arms.

Police said Anzu's mother suffered a nervous breakdown after she called the daycare center and has been hospitalized since Oct 14. They plan to question her after she recovers.

Meanwhile, local media reported that neighbors contacted police in June, expressing concern that Anzu was being abused after they heard her crying. The police notified the local child welfare center which told them there was no evidence of abuse at that time.

The woman also has a 5-year-old son.

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So sad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RIP little girl.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She called a daycare center to tell them her daughter was unconscious - why a daycare center!?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The innocent daughter's name is given but the mother's is not?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RIP Anzu, it wasn't your fault.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She called a daycare center to tell them her daughter was unconscious - why a daycare center!?

@igloobuyer Panic. It might have also been the most relevant number she had in her cell phone. Also the daycare might have been closer than a hospital and the staff at daycare are trained professionals to a degree. Next, its always nice to have someone close handling your communications while you take care of an injured person. Its really hard to perform CPR while giving your address to someone on the phone. A few sentences to someone who knows her at the daycare could save her a lot of time, as that person finds the nearest hospital and summons an ambulance.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I say, sorry, but get her help from prison. RIP to the baby, who was DEFINITELY not at fault that she was born to some nutjob who should have given her up.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

They played an audio clip on the news that someone had recorded of her screaming at her poor kids. There was lots of loud banging and children crying out of fear/pain. Not sure who recorded it and why they didn't go in and stop the woman. Had to turn it off because it was too distressing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The police notified the local child welfare center which told them there was no evidence of abuse at that time.

I sure hope they go back and reexamine what the child welfare center did at the time to "check" and to make this determination. Sadly, we have seen too many cases where the authorities had opportunities to intervene and didn't, either because they were too busy or it was just too bothersome, but then say they checked and there was no issue.

RIP, little one. And thoughts with the 5 year old son. No mention of his condition or circumstances or a father, but one would think he now may have some difficult years ahead of him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

^Sophie, that's just awful. But at least someone (the neighbours) did TRY to do something. And there's only so much a neighbour CAN do. The poor boy, too, you can guess he's been through a bit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Slipped through the cracks! The warnings signs were there and the warnings were given, but we're not acted on. Yeah, it's tough being a parent and sadly, too many people cannot manage it. Just a sad situation all round.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They plan to question her after she recovers.

I hope they plan to do more than that. Obviously she brutally killed her 10-month old daughter, arrest her immediately.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here's the report from Japanese media.

After the girl was born, neighbors had contacted the child welfare center and she was actually taken to the center -- that was February (and lived there for a couple of months). The welfare center decided that the condition of her home was better enough that the girl was returned to her mother to live at the apartment - April.

The mother told one of the neighbors that she didn't want the baby anymore and wanted to bring her to the "baby post", wanted to murder the baby, so the neighbor reported that to the welfare center - June. The welfare center person met with the mother and decided that there was a serious neglect.

In August and September, the daycare center this baby girl attended contacted the welfare center because the care givers saw bruises on her body but the mother told the welfare center people the baby fell, hit her body on some stuff.. the welfare center decided that there was no reason to take the baby girl from the mother.

This neighbor recorded the voices/cries/sound as an evidence hoping that the welfare center would take it seriously, but it was unfortunate that the baby girl was murdered.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Thanks fishy. If what is reported is true, child welfare failed miserably. Glad to hear the neighbors were involved, even going as far to record the violence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fishy has it pretty well summarized the SYSTEM had a REAL hand in this babys death..............

Yesterday I heard this horrible cry, went downstairs the mrs had the news on & it was a video of the apartments window from the outside & you hear this utterly horrific sound of a baby screaming/crying I have never in my 50+yrs heard anything near as horrifying as this was, as Sophie above pointed out!

It literally sent non-stop shivers down my spine & I too couldn't bear it, words I don't think could describe the horror I felt listening to that poor baby............


5 ( +6 / -1 )

The police notified the local child welfare center which told them there was no evidence of abuse at that time.

As usual, Japan's public servants are as useless as an anus on a forehead. That poor little girl's death is their fault.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is coming on the heels of the story about the man turning himself in for the murder of his son -- whom child welfare failed for SIX YEARS to go check on even though ordered to do so by the courts. WHEN are they going to face criminal charges?? This child could still be alive if they bothered to do their jobs. Seriously, how many children do they have to return to obviously murderous parents and to the children's deaths before this declining society deals with the problem??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

police need to investigate the child welfare center, jail or get rid of the brainless workers . re-organize the facility.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

^Fishy, thanks. Those poor neighbours. Doing as much as they could and it wasn't enough, I feel for them. Like I said before, at least they tried to do something. Many wouldn't've.

2 ( +3 / -1 )


Thanks for that. Sounds like a complete and utter failure by the authorities here. And a baby suffered miserably and ultimately lost her life as a result.

Both @Sophie and @GW reference the recording the neighbour made. I haven't heard but if it is as horrible as they say, then I think the workers at the child welfare center and the police involved should be made to listen to that every day for the foreseeable future. Because they are as responsible for this baby's death as the mother. Sorry, but just the way I see it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wonder, when child welfare center people visit families that are being questioned, what do they actually look for in order to decide whether they need to take the kids away or not.

This time, the baby (Anzu chan) had broken bone that had never been treated, and old bruises. how in the world did they think she was safe with her mother? I also wonder if they had interviewed the older brother (5 years old) about how he and his baby sister were treated by the mother.

when it comes to children, there is no "taking another chance", they are so fragile, I am so angry that this happened, I am so angry at this mother hurting the baby girl over and over and my eyes water trying to imagine the pain the little girl went through. I wish the mother at least had the decency to take the baby to the baby hatch.. too late now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Mother suspected in fatal abuse of 10-month-old girl... the 40-year-old... also has a 5-year-old son"

Can you guess what's missing?

RIP Anzu-chan!!... :-(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish the mother at least had the decency to take the baby to the baby hatch

We all wish this fishy. Too bad japanese mothers don't think like this. They feel it would be a burden on others. So their logic is to kill the baby and sometimes murder-suicide.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wc626 - "So their logic is to kill the baby and sometimes murder-suicide"

And by "logic" you mean post-natal depression induced MENTAL ILLNESS don't you?

In this case the mother had the first child when she was 35. Could she cope with her "burden"? Probably not. But FIVE YEARS LATER she had another one. Could she cope with her extra "burden"? Definitely not!!

So the question remains; how did she become so burdened? And when you know the answer to that question, it should be obvious why she hated the child!! :-(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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