Mom held after children found ‘starved to death’ in Osaka flat

OSAKA (Kyodo) A 23-year-old woman was arrested Friday after her two small children were found dead, possibly of starvation, in her apartment in the city of Osaka, and after local child welfare officials tried five times in vain to check on the kids in May.

Sanae Shimomura, who works at an adult entertainment shop, was quoted as telling investigators, “I got sick of feeding them and giving them baths.”

Police suspect her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son had been dead since late June, and are investigating, looking to press an initial charge of abandonment of bodies, they said.

While there were no wounds on the children, their bodies were emaciated, indicating they may have died of starvation, the police said, adding they will carry out autopsies to determine the exact cause of death.

The arrest came after the police received a call from a colleague of the mother that an unusual odor was coming from the flat, which led to them finding the naked bodies of the two children, they said, adding Shimomura did not show up for work during the past several days.