A 33-year-old mentally ill woman weighing only 42 pounds was found frozen to death in Tokyo, Japan. Police arrested her parents after they allegedly tried to dispose of their daughter's body illegally, reported Reuters.
According to the New York Post, the parents — Yasutaka Kakimoto, 55, and Yukari Kakimoto, 53,— claimed that Airi Kakimoto was violent, a side effect of her alleged mental illness, which is why they kept her confined in a 32-square-foot room for 15 years. That room had a door that could only be unlocked from the outside. It was also fitted with cameras and a makeshift toilet. According to the Japan Times, the room was unheated.
Japan’s Osaka Prefectural Police Department said the woman, who was 4.76 feet tall, was extremely malnourished. The parents allegedly confessed to feeding their daughter once a day. It is unclear if they have a lawyer who can speak on their behalf.
“Our daughter was mentally ill and, from age 16 or 17, she became violent, so we kept her inside the room,” they said, according to police.
The woman died on December 18. Police were not alerted to the death until Saturday. The Neyagawa Municipal Government’s welfare division said it didn’t hear of any abuse complaints before the woman’s death. Sores on her body indicate that she was possibly bedridden.
Despite progress, there is reportedly still a large stigma attached to mental illness in Japan.
“We wanted to be together with our daughter,” the parents have said, according to police.
[Photo: Getty Images]