In Japan, 119 is the emergency number to call if you need the fire department or paramedics. Generally, it’s not something you’re supposed to call to report an unpleasant odor, but that’s what happened on Monday morning in Hiroshima City.
At about 7:40 in the morning, a local 119 dispatcher received a call from Toshiko Ujibe, a woman who lives in the city’s Asaminami Ward. “There’s an unpleasant odor coming from my son’s corpse,” the 76-year-old Ujibe explained, “and I don’t know what to do.”
Judging that the smell itself wasn’t the real problem that needed to be dealt with, the operator dispatched both the fire department and the police to the woman’s apartment, which she had shared with her 53-year-old son. When they arrived, they found the man in his bedroom, deceased and lying face up on his futon. Upon questioning, Ujibe said that her son had died sometime in the middle of the month, and an examination of the body revealed multiple lacerations on his neck.
Investigators are unsure if the cuts to the neck were inflicted before or after the son passed away. Common sense would suggest, though, that the woman would not have contacted the authorities herself and told them about her son’s body if she had killed him, and the lacerations bring to mind an incident from last fall in which a Japanese man was found to have cut up the body of his father, who had passed away in their home, and hidden the pieces in his attic, having been hesitant to report his death.
With the specific cause and time of the son’s death still being determined, the mother is not currently a suspect in his death. She has, however, been placed under arrest for corpse abandonment by nature of not reporting her son’s death in a timely manner.
Sources: NHK via Hachima Kiko, Nitele News 24, FNN Prime
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