Preserved remains of babies discovered in Tokyo house


Bodies of apparent unborn babies preserved in formalin have been found under the floor of a home in Tokyo, police sources have said.

Judging from their sizes, the bodies are believed to be those of babies that were aborted or died during birth, the sources said Monday.

Obstetric and gynecological specialists used to live in the house — which is vacant and on sale — and the Metropolitan Police Department does not view the discovery as a criminal case.

Seven bodies were found in six bottles retrieved under the floor of a lavatory and elsewhere in the house, the sources said. In all, 16 bottles were found. Of the remaining 10, three were empty, and it was not immediately clear what was in the other seven.

A woman in her 30s who decided to buy the house had hired an exterminator to check the property ahead of planned renovations. The exterminator discovered the bodies, and the woman filed a police report on Sunday.

The house, built 80 years ago, was vacant for three years after being rented for some 20 years. It used to be managed by a couple with a grandfather and a great-grandmother who were obstetric and gynecological doctors, the sources said. Both have already died.

A neighbor in her 70s said the doctors ran a hospital near the house. She said bottles containing what looked like preserved bodies of babies were carried into the house when the hospital was shut about 70 years ago, according to the sources.