A man and woman who were arrested after the death of their 33-year-old daughter have confessed to confining her in a tiny room for around 15 years because, they said, she had a form of mental illness that made her violent, according to police sources.

The police said Monday that an autopsy showed that the woman, Airi Kakimoto, whose body was recovered Saturday in her home in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, froze to death and that she was in a state of extreme malnutrition, weighing only 19 kg and standing 145 cm tall.

Her 55-year-old father, Yasutaka Kakimoto, and 53-year-old mother, Yukari Kakimoto, reported her death to the police Saturday and were arrested on suspicion of illegally disposing of a body.