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Woman, 4-year-old son found dead in Tachikawa apartment

31 Comments

A 45-year-old single mother and her 4-year-old son were found dead in their apartment in Tokyo's Tachikawa City on Feb 13, police said Wednesday. The woman appeared to have died of an illness and the child apparently died of hunger, TBS quoted police as saying.

Police said they received a call from relatives of the woman who hadn't heard from her in awhile. They said the woman was found on the floor and the boy was lying on a sofa. They had both been dead for 1-2 months, according to TBS.

Authorities said it appeared that the mother died of a sudden illness. The child, who was mentally disabled and could not feed himself, likely died of starvation, they said.

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31 Comments
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Such a sad story. The local news said the mother died from a brain aneurysm. Their was food still in the fridge so the police are assuming that the little boy didn't know how to feed himself. Because of his disability, he apparently didn't go to daycare or anything. The only reason why they were found is because the apartment owner realized that the gas hadn't been used in a while.

So so sad :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whoa! This brought tears to my eyes. It's hard to imagine what that little boy went through before he died of stravation...trying to wake mommy up and all. Really sad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh dear God how can this happen? What an absolute tragedy. RIP Mother and son.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Both hubby and I sat, trying to hold back tears when we saw this on the news last night. The hand that Fate deals some poor souls just sucks mega big time. I don't want to think about that little man's last days and hours, it's too heartbreaking to even think about stepping over that portal.

I hope there is a heaven and that mother and son are together.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Too sad!! Tachikawa is right next door to my city!! How can people die like this?? Their family or friends do not keep in touch on a daily basis?? RIP mother and child

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is absolutely horrifying... My heart just broke for this poor woman and her child.

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How does this stuff happen.... Extremely sad but how is it that this woman was that estranged from family that no one was worried when they did not hear from her for that long?

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Wow! Very sad story. RIP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very sad news.. RIP mother and child...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didn't the mother even have time to call an ambulance or relatives to ask for help, such a sudden death? In my country I could even call my coo-workers or friends or the next door neighbor for help.

Maybe she suddenly collapsed as she was found on the floor. Or it's just her sober judgment of the graveness of the situation failed her? Maybe she knew, she felt that something went wrong in due time, but had nobody to ask for help hoping for a little bit more than a "gambatte neeee"!

Or just didn't mind dying, being exhausted from child care of a mentally handicapped child? Well, at the age of 45, living the life of the poor and the hopeless, taking care of an incapable child, sadness and hopelessnes can make anybody ill and can even kill. But no husband, no father of the child to help her, to look after them even if it is not more than a daily phone call, after delivering a sick child at a late age of her 41? God knows what had happened.

I can imagine the scare of the little child trying to talk to his dead mother, crying, shaking, stroking, pushing her in an attempt to bring round his mother and than patiently waiting to die in a tiny closed apartment. Horror of horror.

Good we live in a rich, developed, responsible, humane society where no one will be left alone and can be sure their dead body will be discovered within a short time of two months. Latest time half year when they fail to pay their dues and taxes. Gambatte neeeee.

I am just disgusted as usual.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Terrible story. One thing that scares me is how isolated people in Japan can become. Wouldn't the neighbors wonder why they hadn't seen them outside the apartment in a while? Not saying anyone could've done anything to help them, but for them to lie there for months, forgotten and alone...that's just horrible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Didn't the mother even have time to call an ambulance or relatives to ask for help, such a sudden death? In my country I could even call my coo-workers or friends or the next door neighbor for help.

It's being reported that the mother probably died of a cerebral aneurism (subarachnoid haemorrhage, bleeding into the brain), a form of stroke the symptoms of which range from nothing in very mild cases to 'thunderclap headache', vomiting, seizure, confusion, decreased level of consciousness, coma leading to death in 40-50% of cases. It could well be that she had no chance to call for help, or even to know that anything was wrong until it was too late. Whatever country you're in, no matter how close you are to family and neighbours, no matter how efficient the ambulance service, they aren't going to be of much help if you're struck with a sudden debilitating illness that prevents you calling for help. We had a neighbour die of the same thing - one day he was striding through the fields full of good health looking like he had years of life in him, next morning his son found him cold on the kitchen floor.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@cleo

How do you know? Found in Japanese news? Anyway, I believe you, otherwise it was one of my guess, anyway.

But I disagree with your other point of;

Whatever country you're in, no matter how close you are to family and neighbours, no matter how efficient the ambulance service, they aren't going to be of much help if you're struck with a sudden debilitating illness that prevents you calling for help.

If either the neighbors or the father, if there is any, or relatives payed a bit more attention, at least the kid could have been saved from death of starvation. It takes days.

@mastertigurius' point reflects well on reality here in general.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

People have literally been known to drop dead from cerebral aneurisms. And as for this mother 'living a hopeless life with a mentally handicapped child'. He might have been the light of her life who gave her joy and hope everyday.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You still have many people in the world that are more concerned about what people think about them than actually focusing on whats important. It is really strange though. Was she unemployed? Her job should have checked on her. Also, with a mentally handicapped child she should have been recieving help from a specialist or something, if she was employed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How do you know? Found in Japanese news?

Yes. It was also mentioned on the telly last night.

I agree with you that if only there had been more people involved with this mother and her son, the boy would probably be alive today. I was addressing your point about calling an ambulance or asking for help when illness strikes. Not always possible in an emergency if you're alone.

The little boy is reported to have been mentally handicapped and unable to feed himself. A nappy service made a delivery in early December, but got no reply in mid-January. In late January a city case worker called, got no reply and left without making further inquiries. According to the head of the city Welfare Department, the city provided nappies for the boy, that being the only service the mother had applied for; the city had done everything required of it, it was very sad this had happened and they need to think how to get local people involved in seeing it doesn't happen again.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20120222/t10013209511000.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@cleo

Thanks for the additional info and the link.

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"Single mother-mentally disabled child"; another par for the course human tragedy in a society that chooses to stigmatize and sweep under the carpet rather than foster compassion and empathy. The deeper kinds of intimacy and mutual reliance here are precarious and rare. In this passionately social world, loneliness dogs the spirit. People are constantly "getting together", but they never really get there and whilst everyone is terrified of being alone and despite the universal assumption of wareware Nihonjin comradeship, in company they often remain as remote from each other as the stars.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's a heartbreaking story. The real tragedy was that they were both dead for 2 months and no one bothered to check on them or anything.

I would like to know what type of family they had that didn't keep in touch with them regularly? Shame on the family!

RIP to mother and child.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People are constantly "getting together", but they never really get there and whilst everyone is terrified of being alone and despite the universal assumption of wareware Nihonjin comradeship, in company they often remain as remote from each other as the stars

They enjoy their loneliness better in crowd. They are familiar to being in crowd but it seems it is just being so overcrowded has developed a culture of mutual discreet consideration of others personal sphere and are afraid of invading or hurting it. Even my best Japanese friends tend to hide their problems and fight alone for they are afraid of causing inconvenience to others with their problems. It seems to be one of the basic fundamental of the Japanese social evolution and culture.

Well, I don't think is is good, but even if I acknowledge and accept that, it seems to me it has really gone to extreme, especially when even the handicapped or the children are involved. I guess it is high time for Japan to redefine their social norms and expectancies.

I mean, @cleo has convinced me that the life of the mother couldn't be saved, but two corpses rotting for months in a big city apartment (not an isolated country farm) that's morbid. That is unacceptable. Something really came off the track here.

It seems to happen more often in big cities where people can are so close and see each other all day, but they just don't want to notice on another.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

correctly

It seems to happen more often in big cities where people are so close and see each other all day, but they just don't want to notice one another.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo has convinced me that the life of the mother couldn't be saved

Oh dear, looks like I've gone too far.....I didn't mean to imply that she couldn't be saved no matter what, just that it's possible she couldn't call for help. Depending on the degree of severity, a cerebral aneurism can show itself as a headache or stiff fingers for days or even weeks before it becomes critical, and of course people can get help in that time if they realise they need to. (A sudden, intense headache (like a 'kick in the head') is a hint you need to see your doctor, especially if you have high blood pressure or a family history of stroke.)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@cleo

Oh dear, looks like I've gone too far.

No, you have not, I misinterpreted it writing my post in haste and I should have put it in different way like @cleo convinced me it might not be fair to leave the family with the blame in case of possible sudden death.... etc..etc..

Sorry I didn't mean to put words in your mouth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

very sad.... RIP mom and son

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RIP mom and little boy.

The lack of connection here between family and neighoubours is sad. Japan really, really needs to stop with the slogans and actually work on society and the connections - or lack there of - that plagues this. That poor little boy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Life sucks, then you die"... is what I WANT to say, but that seems way too callous for this poor family. It's situations like this that make me convinced that, contrary to what some believe, a supreme being isn't meddling in our affairs on a daily basis. There's no reason to force a handicapped child to suffer through a starvation death simply because the deity decided it was time to kill the mother.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

...ok what's up with Japan and finding dead people in their apartments?! And kids. A lot of what I"ve been reading has to do with finding dead kids...or dropped from high places...etc....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just wondering why it took the police 9 days to announce their deaths? Were they having trouble finding relatives to notify? Even so, they could have announced the discovery without identifying the bodies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am saddened by this news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sad...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is a sad tragedy, and thats why Japan have too many problems from politics, social to anything (even some Japanese people are moving or immigrating to other countries to avoid the Japanese lifestyle and their own reasons) and there's little solution to these problems, if the Japanese government doesnt do something about these problems, what gods knows will happen to them in future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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