Japanese parents charged in girl's death

Nov. 3, 2003 at 7:57 PM
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OKAYAMA, Japan, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A Japanese couple was charged Monday with allowing their 2-year-old daughter to die after she suffered serious burns in a hot shower last month.

The father, Kazutoshi Aki, told officials there was no intent to kill the girl, but police officials quoted his wife, Midori, as saying: "I was filling the bathtub with water. Just when I went to the kitchen to turn off the gas stove, my daughter touched the shower lever and poured hot water on herself. I thought I wouldn't mind if she died, as she was an unwanted child."

Police charged the couple with murder. Investigators told the Kyodo News Service the couple allegedly waited for more than a week before taking the child, Miho, to a hospital. The girl suffered the burns on Oct. 25.

Kyodo said when the couple brought Miho to a hospital Sunday she was dead on arrival. A subsequent autopsy showed she died of septicemia, or blood poisoning.

Police said the Akis have five daughters, including Miho, whose father is different from the other four children.

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