• Kyodo

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A 34-year-old woman in Ehime Prefecture under arrest on suspicion of hiding a baby’s body in a closet in her apartment has confessed to abandoning the bodies of four other babies, police said Monday.

Emi Wakabayashi, 34, of Yawatahama, said she gave birth to five babies since around 2006 and disposed of their bodies, according to police officials. She also indicated she had killed some of them, they said.

The police said they found the other skeletons and decomposed bodies of the babies in sealed plastic bags Monday within the apartment’s plot, in an area outdoors where discarded furniture and other items had been dumped.

The woman was arrested last week on suspicion of disposing of the body of a newborn or stillborn baby earlier in the month in her apartment, where she lives with her father, younger brother and eldest son, according to the police.

The building has no other tenants, the police said.

The police had received a tip that the woman, who had recently appeared to be pregnant for some time, suddenly appeared no longer to be pregnant and with no baby.

“As far as I know, there were three such cases. I thought she may have put her babies out to nurse or placed them in facilities,” said a woman in her 50s who lives in the neighborhood.

A man in his 70s said he noticed a similar situation four or five years ago.

The police are questioning the woman’s family, an official said without elaborating.

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