A 35-year-old woman received a suspended sentence at the Oita District Court on Tuesday for dumping the body of her 2-year-old daughter in the woods.
The court sentenced Yuko Emoto to two years, suspended for three years, TBS reported. Emoto was arrested in February for abandoning the body of her daughter, Kotone, which was found in the woods near her house in Hijimachi, Oita Prefecture, last September.
The case received a lot of publicity when Emoto claimed that Kotone had been abducted from a parked car outside a supermarket. Emoto told police she had left her daughter in the child seat in back of her car while she went into the Marushoku Kawasaki supermarket. She said she had been gone about five minutes, and when she returned to the car, her daughter was missing.
Police launched a massive search for the girl, but to no avail.
Emoto was arrested after she confessed that the abduction story had been a lie and that she had actually buried the girl’s body in the mountains. She told investigators that she had found her daughter dead under a blanket on the morning of Sept 13. Police were unable to determine the cause of death because the body had decomposed by the time it was found in February.
Prosecutors said Emoto's actions were rash and inconsiderate, and that she had had caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, TBS reported. Counsel for the defense, appealing for a suspended sentence, responded that Emoto did not deny the charges, but she has faced up to what she has done and has sincerely apologized for her actions.
In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Hidenaga Manabe concurred with the defense, saying that while Emoto was guilty of a criminal act in abandoning the body of her daughter, there is no evidence to show she killed the child and that she has shown she deeply regrets what she did, TBS reported.© Japan Today