Yukihiro Saito, a former resident of Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, has been arrested by the prefectural police for the death of his son whose skeletal remains were discovered in an abandoned apartment in Atsugi City. The authorities say that the remains have been in the apartment for over seven years, as Saito abandoned the place after the child’s death.
Upon initial investigation by the Kanagawa Prefectural Police, they say that the boy was starved to death by Saito, possibly starting around October 2006. The authorities estimate that the boy’s death happened in January 2007, with the child around 5 years old when he died. The circumstances of the discovery of the child’s remains could be attributed to an early enrollment system and the school notifying welfare officials of a possible missing child. When the child – supposedly old enough for junior high school or thereabouts at his age – failed to show up on opening day of school, the school’s officials gave the information to the city’s welfare arm. The police were notified by May 22 and they began the search for the child.
Saito was residing in a different apartment but still within the city, and the prefectural police were able to track him down. He was the one who accompanied the police to the old apartment, now visibly showing signs of abandonment – piles of unread mail were stacked at the place, and the inside of the apartment was littered with brochures and garbage. The boy’s remains were found, and according to the Kanagawa police, Saito had admitted to abandoning his child. The police are charging Saito – who is divorced from his wife – for causing death by abandoning parental responsibilities.