A 26-year-old mother was arrested after she left her two daughters in the car while she went drinking. As a result, the two girls became unconscious and eventually died.
The tragedy happened in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan where Maria Takeuchi, an unemployed woman, left her two daughters, Mayuri (6) and Yurie (3) in the car at around 9pm on 2 September until 12.40pm the next day. The car was locked and left with the windows up at a shopping district near Kawaramachi Station.
According to Japan Today, this is the order of events that took place:
- Takeuchi left her daughters in the car at around 9pm on 2 September
- She returned to her car around dawn, which is approximately about nine hours later
- She noticed that her daughters were unconscious and drove them home
- She then left the children in the car and went into the house
- Only at 12.40pm did she call the emergency hotline
- The girls were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead
On 4 September, autopsy results on the two girls showed that they died of dehydration due to heatstroke, according to the police.
The meteorological agency reported that the temperature on 3 September had reached 37.6 degrees Celsius in the area, but would have been much higher inside the car.
Takeuchi was reportedly quiet from the time of her arrest but footage from CCTV cameras in the area and additional information provided from employees of drinking locations indicate that she went bar-hopping with a friend that night while her children were left in the car.
Police are trying to investigate why she left the girls in the car after getting home and waited only until the afternoon to call the emergency hotline.
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