Woman arrested after placing dead infant in Kumamoto baby hatch


Police on Saturday arrested a 31-year-old woman who left the dead body of her newborn son in the baby hatch at Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto on Friday night.

Police said a hospital employee found the body in the drop box at around 8:30 p.m., NTV reported. Based on an eyewitness report of a car driving away from the hospital at that time, police arrested Maiko Yamashita, an unemployed resident of Yamaga, and charged her with illegally disposing of a body.

Yamashita, who lives with her parents and another son, was quoted by police as saying she gave birth to the baby a few days ago at her home and when he died, she didn't know what to do with him. Police will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

A Jikei Hospital spokesperson said: "We can't understand why someone would deposit the body of a deceased infant in the baby hatch. It is truly a terrible turn of events here.

The incident is the first time that a dead child has been left within the drop box at Jikei, which was established in 2007 as a place where mothers who were unable or unwilling to care for their newborns could anonymously give their child to the hospital to be placed under its care.

So far, as of March 31 this year, 101 infants -- 10% of whom had disabilities -- have been left in the baby hatch since it opened, hospital officials say.

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Another single mother with a dead baby...that's the second this week..stupid people need to get their tubes tied

0 ( +6 / -6 )

So sad. RIP little one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Didn't she realize that baby hatches were for living babies?

she gave birth to the baby a few days ago at her home and when he died, she didn’t know what to do with him.

Something's not right here. If you give birth at home, shouldn't you then take the baby to the hospital to get everything checked out?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

actually feel a bit sorry about this, single mother - where is the boyfriend? no supporting family, so that means this was a disgraceful pregnancy to the family.

she felt alone, isolated, gave birth at home - probably no prenatal care and her original plan was probably the baby hatch- then the baby dies.

now she is arrested and her shame is presented to the world- i think there are several psychiatrists that are shuddering right now on how this woman is being treated.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )


Misplaced sympathy. The baby is the one who died not the mother

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is truly a terrible turn of events here.

No. A terrible turn of events would have been to dispose the body somewhere in a field or flush it down the toilet, as happened before. At least the mother had enough conscience not to be so cruel.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sudden infant death syndrome, WHO ICD-10 R95 classification, could be a possibility if autopsy does not give other reasons. Anyway a hughe stess situation for any parents.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She did what she could. I can't imagine the horror this woman has been through and now she's being arrested. Yes she should have called the authorities or taken her baby to the hospital this is all true, but given the circumstances we don't know how fast her babies death happened. She was probably scared and grieving. Certainly not in her right mind to make decisions. I feel horrible for both mother and child.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SIDS doesnt happen the moment a baby is born. Other factors are at play here - probably something along the lines of getting no medical care whatsoever. I shudder to think of the other reason a baby could die in these circumstances so lets just not go there for now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is not enough info to judge this women either way. We all know that Japan is seriously lacking when it comes to dealing with people that are struggling with emotional problems.

There is aa reason why this country has the highest cuicide rate in the world.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Gerard small correction: there are currently six countries before Japan in the list of highest suicide rates.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan, everywhere, need hospitals like Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto, It has nothing to do with Japan/s suicide rates.competition in the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

she is umemployed, lives at home with her family and also has a son...seems like a typical japanese woman from the sticks. so what's all this about she's mentally ill?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Praack is right. Dońt judge situation one cannot understand. She is surely no killer. Lost in a country where you are either in or out. No support hardly

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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