Woman accused of dumping her 5 babies

A Japanese woman suspected of abandoning the bodies of five of her own newborn babies over the course of a decade was questioned yesterday, police said.

Emi Wakabayashi, 34, who lives with her father, younger brother and oldest son, was initially arrested after police discovered the corpse of a newborn near their home in rural Ehime prefecture in western Japan.

The skeletal remains of four more infants were found in sealed plastic bags near her home on Monday, a police official told AFP.

Officers began investigating after being told that Wakabayashi had appeared for several months to be pregnant.

No baby

But she did not have a baby with her when a police official attended a community meeting, he said.

During questioning, Wakabayashi told police she had given birth to a total of five babies since 2006 and had abandoned them all.

"She hinted that she was involved in the killing of some of the babies," he said, adding officers were also questioning her family and were carrying out DNA tests to determine the parentage of each child.

The police had received a tip that the woman, who had recently appeared to be pregnant for some time, suddenly appeared no longer to be pregnant and with no baby, the Japan Times reported.

"As far as I know, there were three such cases. I thought she may have put her babies out to nurse or placed them in facilities," said a woman in her 50s who lives in the neighbourhood.

A man in his 70s said he noticed a similar situation four or five years ago.

The police are questioning the woman's family, an official said without elaborating.

This article was first published on July 22, 2015.
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