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Osaka woman arrested after confessing to dumping the bodies of four babies

KYODO, STAFF REPORT

A 53-year-old woman was arrested in Osaka on Tuesday after she confessed to disposing of four dead infants she had given birth to over a five-year period, placing the bodies in buckets filled with concrete.

After Mayumi Saito turned herself in to authorities on Monday, police found four concrete-filled buckets in a closet in her condominium in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture.

The buckets each measured about 30 centimeters in height.

Imaging analysis confirmed that all of the buckets contain human bones, apparently those of infants. Investigative sources believe the four were born to Saito and a single partner. They will conduct autopsies while looking into the circumstances of the deaths.

The statute of limitations for abandoning a body is three years, but Saito was arrested for carrying the body of one of the babies from a different location to her condominium, which she moved into in the summer of 2015, the police said.

She told the police she dumped the bodies between 1992 and 1997, claiming that she did not have the money to raise children.

Police quoted Saito as saying she felt guilt for her actions over the years but that there was no one she could talk to about it.

The shocking allegations came to light after Saito turned herself in at a police station in the city of Neyagawa at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

According to public broadcaster NHK, Saito told investigators that she delivered the babies on her own, having not told her partner about the pregnancies.

The police will seek to verify whether the babies were really Saito’s based on DNA analysis and plan to question the partner, NHK said.

Other media reports said — citing accounts by neighbors and residential housing officials — that Saito works part time while living on welfare and that she lives with a man in his late teens who is apparently her son.

Saito’s residence is located about 2 kilometers west of Neyagawashi Station.