National / Crime & Legal

Kumamoto man allegedly killed baby with stimulants

Kyodo

A 24-year-old man is under arrest for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s baby by feeding him a fatal dose of a kakuseizai stimulant drug in a hotel in the city of Kumamoto, police officials said.

The Kumamoto Prefectural Police arrested Tensho Yoshimura on Sunday on suspicion of murder and violation of the Stimulants Control Law, investigative sources said.

The police suspect Yoshimura, a resident of Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, who is not thought to be the baby’s father, took the drug himself and then administered the drug to the baby.

Kakuseizai covers a group of addictive stimulant drugs including amphetamine and methamphetamine.

According to the sources, the man, his girlfriend, a resident of Minami Ward in Kumamoto, and her 3-month-old baby took a room in a “love hotel,” a facility for amorous encounters, in Higashi Ward shortly after 3 a.m. Sept. 4.

The woman, who had slept late, found the baby in an abnormal state after she awoke at about 12:30 p.m. Police quoted her as describing the baby as foaming at the mouth and listless.

When officers arrived at the scene, Yoshimura was not present.

The baby was rushed to a nearby hospital but was later pronounced dead. A subsequent autopsy found he had died of stimulant drug poisoning.

The incident led to the arrest of both the man and the woman for their use of the stimulant drug. They were subsequently criminally charged.

The police believe that the woman, a single mother, did not play a role in the baby’s death and that Yoshimura force-fed the drug to him while she was asleep.

A friend of Yoshimura said the suspect “was often involved in fistfights when he was young, and I never knew what he was thinking.”

A neighbor was reluctant to talk about him, except to describe him as someone “you wouldn’t want to be associated with.”

Another friend of Yoshimura, a woman in her 50s who claimed she last saw him about half a year ago, said she was shocked. “I thought he had a sweet heart,” she said.