A three-year-old girl starved to death after her mum abandoned her for eight days while she visited her boyfriend 700 miles away, say police.
Saki Kakehashi's daughter was found wearing an dirty nappy and surrounded by rubbish inside her mum's apartment in Tokyo's Ota ward, and a post-mortem revealed she died from severe dehydration and hunger, it is reported.
Kakehashi, 24, is alleged to have confessed to detectives, telling them she didn't expect her daughter Noa to die when she left her alone for more than a week in June.
The mum allegedly told detectives she thought “it would be alright” to leave the youngster alone in their flat in Tokyo while she visited her lover in Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan.
Kakehashi was arrested on Tuesday following a month-long investigation, the Japan Times reported.
It is alleged the mum called for help after returning home on June 13 and told an emergency line that her daughter wasn't breathing, an investigating source told the newspaper.
Noa was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
A post-mortem found the child had suffered thymic atrophy, which is typically seen in abused or neglected children, and her stomach was almost empty, the source added.
Kakehashi allegedly told police that Noa that been unwell for days, but she couldn't afford to take her to a hospital for treatment.
However, she changed her story and admitted that she had left the girl alone for eight days while visiting her boyfriend on the other side of the country, the source claimed.
Noa was wearing a nappy that hadn't been changed for days and she had rashes on her bottom.
The mum's flat was filled with rubbish.
Staff at Noa's nursery said they had not seen the girl for more than a year.
Noa lived with her mum, who was divorced from the girl's dad.
According to the Japan Times, a friend of Kakehashi’s told the police: “She had left home for several days or returned late at night, leaving her daughter unattended."