The 2-year-old child who was found dead in his babysitter’s apartment on Monday may have died from deliberate suffocation, according to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police. Authorities are still questioning the babysitter over what transpired in his apartment, but he has already been arrested on suspicion of abandoning the body.
26-year-old Yuji Motte is accused of leaving behind the body of 2-year-old Riku Yamada when he left his apartment in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture on the morning of March 17. Police questioned him at around 8AM when he was taking out the trash but refused to let the investigators in when they asked to see his apartment. The body of Riku was then discovered, unclothed and facedown on the floor. An autopsy shows that he may have died around March 16 and his injuries, including skin discoloration and sores in the mouth and nose, were consistent with having been suffocated. No other obvious external injuries were seen on his body.
Riku’s mother at first said it was the first time she left the children with Motte, whom she found through a free online babysitting service. But when police showed her his photo, she said that she had left her children with him in the past, but he was using a different name now. When she used his services before, Riku would come home with injuries and after a money dispute, she stopped leaving the children with him. She dropped off her two children, the other one an 8-month-old baby boy, with another man on March 14, who said he was turning over the children to the actual babysitter, who used the name “Yamamoto” on the contract, to probably hide his real identity from the mother. This incident has prompted the government to take a closer look at online babysitting sites to prevent anything like this from happening again.
[ via Mainichi ]