A mother was sent to prosecutors Thursday for allegedly letting her 3-year-old daughter starve to death last month, after leaving her alone at their Tokyo home so she could see her boyfriend hundreds of kilometers away.
Saki Kakehashi has admitted leaving Noa at their apartment for eight days in early June while visiting her boyfriend in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, according to police.
The 24-year-old was quoted by investigative sources as saying she barricaded Noa into the living room of their Ota Ward apartment with a sofa to stop her harming herself with knives and other items in the adjacent kitchen.
Autopsy results revealed Noa died from severe dehydration and hunger, according to the police.
Kakehashi, who worked at a Japanese-style "izakaya" pub, often left Noa home alone to frequent pachinko parlors and bars, and had visited Kagoshima unaccompanied for several days in May, the sources said.
The manager of a bar she often visited told Kyodo News, "She came up to twice a week and went home on the last train every time."
Police suspect Kakehashi routinely neglected the toddler by leaving her alone while she worked late or went out in the evenings.
Kakehashi had lived alone with Noa since around July 2017 after getting divorced from the girl's father.
Noa had not been to her day-care center for more than a year.