• Kyodo

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Police arrested a 36-year-old truck driver Saturday after they found skeletal remains believed to be of a child inside an apartment in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, following a report of a missing boy.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police allege Yukihiro Saito let his son die about January 2007 by denying food and water from around October 2006. The police suspect the boy was 5 years old when he died.

He was arrested for allegedly causing death by abandoning parental responsibility. The police said he has admitted to the charge, saying he left the home after the boy’s death.

A child consultation center alerted the police on May 22 that a boy registered at that address and supposed to start at a junior high school had not reported to the school.

The police tracked down the boy’s father, who was living elsewhere in the city, and asked him to accompany them on an inspection of the locked apartment. They found the remains on Friday. It was impossible to tell the gender, they said.

Police said they have not been able to get in touch with the boy’s mother.

The mailbox at the apartment was overflowing with flyers and the rooms were filled with garbage, they said.

A woman who lives nearby said a representative of the child consultation center came to check on the boy who was supposed to be living at the apartment around three years ago. He was to start going to an elementary school, but the center official said his whereabouts could not be confirmed.

The woman said the boy was born around the same time as her grandchild who just recently started junior high, and she had not seen the boy since right after he was born. The woman said she had long been concerned about him.

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