• Kyodo


A 28-year-old man was arrested in the city of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Sunday morning for allegedly beating to death the 2-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, local police said.

According to investigations, Takeshi Hirano punched Momoka Sugimura in the head and other parts of the body while they were taking a bath together at around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The girl’s mother, Sayuri, found her daughter limp Saturday evening and took her to a hospital, but the child died later that night, police said. Momoka had suffered a fractured skull, they added.

The suspect was quoted as telling police that he hit the girl because she would not stop crying when she was put under warm water from the shower.

The girl had bruises on her hands and face, and police were investigating to determine whether she had been abused on a regular basis.

Hirano and the girl’s mother met in the summer of last year, and he moved into the woman’s apartment around late August, police said.

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