Mother ‘drowned kids in concrete’

Police investigators outside an apartment where the dead infants were kept. Picture: AP
Police investigators outside an apartment where the dead infants were kept. Picture: AP

A JAPANESE mother drowned four of her newborn babies in concrete-filled buckets and kept them in a closet for 20 years.

The Sun reports, Mayumi Saito, 53, from the city of Neyagawa, confessed her grim crime to cops because she could no longer handle the guilt.

Human remains were found in four buckets in her flat, an Osaka police official said.

Saito said she hid the bodies between 1992 and 1997 because she was too poor to raise the children.

She told police she lives at the flat with her teenage son and has another son who has moved out.

Media outside the apartment where the buckets filled with concrete were found. Picture: AP
Media outside the apartment where the buckets filled with concrete were found. Picture: AP

Investigators, quoting the suspect, told Asahi Shimbun: "I gave birth to all of them at the place I used to live.

"I don't think (my boyfriend) was aware of what I did. I brought the buckets to my current residence with my other belongings when I moved.

"I felt I would not be able to raise the children that I gave birth to, so I placed them in buckets and poured in cement.

"There was no one I could talk to about my conscience and I thought about killing myself.

"But I couldn't commit suicide and leave my son who I live with behind."

Saito said the births were never reported to local authorities.

She reportedly moved the buckets from her old apartment to her new address sometime between the middle of 2015 and November this year.

She was charged with abandoning bodies a day after she turned herself in at the police station.

In Japan criminal charges are often added as an investigation progresses.

Police investigators outside the apartment. Picture: AP
Police investigators outside the apartment. Picture: AP

According to Asahi Shimbun, imaging confirmed that four plastic buckets, housed in Saito's home in a cardboard box, contain the remains of four infants.

AP reported human bones were identified in buckets found in Saito's apartment. The police official requested anonymity due to department policy.

Although Japan is the world's third-largest economy, poverty remains a problem, especially among women.

Social support such as affordable daycare is lacking for women to work while child-rearing, as well as to get counselling and other help to cope with parenting duties and mental stress.

Japanese media reports quoted the woman as saying she had no one to talk to or turn to.

Saito had a part-time job, but details of her work and family were not available.

Saito came forward three weeks after police arrested Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, dubbed the "Twitter killer", who has confessed to killing and dismembering nine people he met via social media.

Investigators found him in his apartment just outside Tokyo surrounded by the festering remains of his victims inside coolers and containers

This article first appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission.

Topics:  children editors picks japan murder

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