• Kyodo

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Police on Friday began searching the mountains for the body of a boy whose parents are being held on suspicion of receiving child care allowances even though he was last seen about three years ago. He would be 4 now.

Suguru Kajimoto, a reinforcing iron and rebar worker from Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, said he threw the body of his son, Tatsuki, from a road into the mountains straddling Osaka and Nara prefectures, investigative sources said.

The police were searching an area in Gose, Nara Prefecture, that is also close to Chihayaakasaka in Osaka. On Thursday, they took Kajimoto to the area to confirm where he abandoned the body.

Kajimoto, 35, initially told the police that his son suffered a fatal fall from a stairway and that he dumped his corpse into the sea. But he later changed his story and confessed to leaving his body in the mountains in late May.

He has not clarified, however, how or when the boy died, the sources said.

His wife, Chiho Kajimoto, 32, said her husband took their son away around last Christmas and that she doesn’t know where he is.

Tatsuki was born in January 2012 and placed in an infant home, according to Sakai Municipal Government officials. His parents started living with him in January 2014 in Matsubara, Osaka Prefecture.

Matsubara Municipal Government officials went to the Kajimoto household in October the same year, but were told by Chiho Kajimoto that the son was staying at a relative’s house.

When he was 3, his parents postponed his scheduled medical checkup six times between July and December 2015. They then moved from Matsubara to Sakai last December.

In May, Sakai officials alerted the police after failing to find the boy. The police searched their homes in both Matsubara and Sakai last month but could not confirm his whereabouts.

The police arrested the parents on Oct. 18 on suspicion of unlawfully receiving around ¥360,000 from the Matsubara Municipal Government between April 2015 and February.

In the meantime, the police have managed to account for the whereabouts of the boy’s three siblings and confirmed that a nephew of the Kajimotos disappeared in 2012 immediately after he was born in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture, nine years earlier.

The police have arrested four relatives, including the Kajimotos, on suspicion of fraud and are investigating the nephew’s whereabouts.

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